Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
SIX Limpopo grannies are living in abject poverty with their children and grand-children after the Department of Home Affairs reduced their ages to nearly the same as their children.
According to the department, most of the grannies are four, five or 10 years older than their first-born children.
Because of their ages, they are unable to access government grants and other free basic needs such as RDP houses and food parcels.
The grannies are Sebolaishe Monica Sebeloane, Mangwane Ramasela, Ramasela Paulina Mushidi, Raesibe Elisa Mokitlana, Ramasela Francinah Nkuna and Matlakala MaggyKonaiti.
Sowetan is in possession of their wrong birth certificates and ID copies, which state Sebolaishe was born in 1955 while her first-born son was born in 1959.
This means Sebolaishe became pregnant at the age of three and gave birth when she was four.
The same applies to Moshidi who, according to the department, was born in 1968, while her first daughter was born in 1972.
That means Moshidi also became pregnant at the age of three and gave birth at four.
Mokitlana is said to have been born in 1956 and given birth to her first-born 12 years later.
Mangwane is recorded as having been born in 1962 and bore her daughter nine years later in 1971.
Nkuna is recorded as having been born in 1956 and giving birth about 11 years later in 1967. Konaiti is said to have been born in 1952 and giving birth 10 years later in 1962.
"This is too degrading and insulting. We can't be made peers of our own children while we are in fact 20 or 30 years older," Sebolaishe said yesterday.
"We have the right to our age and anyone who gives us any age other than that is degrading us."
Sebolaishe said because of the age mix-up on their identity books, their families have been living below the breadline.
"Our children have turned to beggars in their own community because they are unable to access what government has for every poor citizen in our country," she said.
Mangwane, who has seven children and nine grandchildren in her care, said bread was a real luxury in her home.
She said it was not unusual for her family to spend two or three days without eating.
Several attempts to obtain comment from the Department of Home Affairs drew a blank since no one was answering Sowetan calls.