Returned exile fumes over wait

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

An eight-month struggle for an ID book has left 72-year-old political activist Lindiwe Tsele fuming.

Tsele yesterday told Sowetan: "I am mad. I'm in the same boat as Kabelo Thibedi and I am as frustrated."

Tsele, of Randfontein on the West Rand, said she had never owned a South African ID book. She left South Africa for England in 1961.

"At that time there were no ID books. It was just dompasses," she said.

Tsele said she had contacted Home Affairs to enquire about applying for an ID book while living in England.

"I was told that I could not apply from abroad," she said.

She returned home in February and applied for an ID book.

"Officials at the Randfontein office of Home Affairs assured me that I would get my ID in six weeks. I have waited eight month," she said.

She said the delay in issuing her an ID had cost her dearly.

"My three-month air ticket has expired. Is Home Affairs prepared to reimburse me for their inefficiency?" she asked.

Jacky Mashapu, a spokesman for Home Affairs, said that though cases differed, late applications usually took longer to process.

"For us to give you an ID book we need to verify that you are indeed an eligible South African, and that process can take a bit longer," he said.