A 20-YEAR-OLD Soweto woman is facing the grim prospect of being deported to a country she left when she was only one-year-old.
Mandisa Mthembu, 20, and her twin sister Nandisa were adopted from Swaziland by Pauline Skwambane of Diepkloof in Soweto about 19 years ago when their single and unemployed mother, Sbongile Ndlovu, could not look after them.
But Skwambane died in December 2005 and in September 2007 the twin sisters went to the Home Affairs offices in Johannesburg to apply for identity documents, using their adoption papers.
A few weeks later they returned to the same offices, where Nandisa received her ID book.
Mandisa was told to return to Swaziland since she could not be registered as a South African citizen.
"Officials at Home Affairs told me they could not help me despite the fact that we used the same adoption documents to apply for our ID books.
"They said I had to go back to Swaziland.
"I have lived here all my life and I know nobody in Swaziland.
"My mother was recently seen around Johannesburg. My life has become a living hell. I am even contemplating suicide. Please help me," she said before her voice trailed off into tears.
She matriculated a year ago.
"I can't study any further nor get a job. I don't know what to do.
"Home Affairs keeps on telling me the same story.
"Every time I return from their offices in Harrison Street I cry endlessly," she said.
Sowetan contacted the department spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa, who immediately referred the matter to the relevant section for "urgent attention".
"We were not aware of the matter until you brought it to our attention," he said.
"Justice needs to be seen to be done. We need to find an urgent solution to this matter."