HIV-positive mom will get her ID
Orlando East's Mahadi Khaile started the year on a happy note, thanks to Sowetan.
After repeatedly applying for an identity document since 1994 without any luck, the HIV-positive mother of three could not believe her luck when a Home Affairs team visited her in her shack two days after Christmas to process her application.
Khaile, of Orlando East, Soweto, said that on her first attempt to get an ID she was given a temporary document and told to come back after three months.
"When I went to collect it I was told that my temporary ID was fake and Home Affairs officials threatened to jail me.
"When I tried again in 1996 they refused to take my documents because I did not have a birth certificate. I gave them my baptismal certificate, but they rejected it," said the 39-year-old.
Khaile said she was given a Sowetan staff member's phone number by a friend.
"I do not know what the reporter did, but after a few days I was surprised when Home Affairs' staff members came to my shack to help me fill in the forms.
"For years I have been pushed from pillar to post.
"I couldn't open a bank account, get a job or apply for a grant because I did not have an identity document."
Khaile was told she would receive her ID on Wednesday next week.
Not only will she receive her ID, but her children's birth certificates as well, so that she can apply for a government grant for them.
"One of my children is also HIV-positive and his father, who was a taxi driver, was shot dead last year. My husband's death made things very tough for us. Some days we've gone without food."
Khaile's woes started in the early 1980s when her mother ran away from her abusive husband before she could obtain a birth certificate for her daughter.