A Durban man is so angry that he has been classified a woman that he is "willing to take my pants down in front of everyone at Home Affairs to prove that I am indeed a man".
"At first I thought it was a joke, but it is the truth. According to Home Affairs I am a woman," Manqoba Mtungwa, 24, of Umbumbulu, south of Durban, said yesterday.
"They now want me to go to a doctor and confirm my gender."
Mtungwa says he was issued with an identity document five years ago but when he went to a local bank he was told that the ID says he is an American.
To make matters worse, when he went to Home Affairs in Durban he was threatened with immediate deportation.
"I was scared and stayed away."
However, forced by desperation to get a job, he made another attempt to "get his life back" and made one more trip to the department yesterday.
This time, however, he learnt with great shock that he was "classified a woman".
"I was following up to have my citizenship error rectified when the official assisting me at Home Affairs picked up that I was also classified as a woman."
Mtungwa says he longs for an opportunity to return to school and complete his matric.
However, that dream will never become a reality without an ID with accurate details.
"I have an ID that entitles me to the benefits of being a South African, but I am unable to use it and the people responsible for the errors have sent me from pillar to post for years and this is not fair," Mtungwa moaned.
He says he now has two choices - raise the money to visit a private doctor or sit the whole day at a government hospital waiting for his turn to see the government doctor.
"Not only do I have to cope with the problems that come with not having an ID, I now have to embarrass myself and have the doctor verify what I already know and what anyone can see.
"Why waste time or money visiting a doctor when everyone can see that I am a man?"
Home Affairs spokesman Joseph Mohajane insists that it is the department's policy to require doctor's proof when rectifying errors involving gender.
When asked who will foot the bill, he said: "Public officials offer a free service. He must go there."