'Finally, I have an ID'
An HIV-positive Soweto woman could not control her emotions yesterday when she was issued with her identity document after 12 years.
Thanks to Sowetan. Mahadi Khaile, 39, of Orlando East burst into tears when two home affairs officials surprised her with an identity document and her three children's birth certificates.
Unemployed Khaile was doing her house chores when the assistant to the chief of staff in the office of the minister, Melanie Potgieter, and protocol officer Benjamin Khoza went to her one-roomed shack with the documents.
Khaile said: "I thank Sowetan for publishing my story. Without the paper I would still be without an ID."
Sowetan last week published her story. She said she first applied for the document in 1994 and was given a temporary document.
She said when she went to collect her ID, she was told the temporary document was fake and she was threatened with arrest.
Khaile tried her luck again in 1996, but to no avail.
"I am now happy that I am eligible to obtain a grant for myself and my children," said the weeping Khaile.
She said she was dependent on her son, Itumeleng, 13, for food. Itumeleng works part time in Johannesburg.
Khaile's refused to accept the department of home affairs' excuse for not giving her the ID on time.
She alerted Sowetan of her plight and that her family had to survive on soft porridge as their staple diet.
Potgieter and Khoza did not only bring her the important documents, but also brought with them bags of clothes for the Khailes.
Potgieter said anyone who was encountering problems with their IDs should write to the department about their problems.