Department muddle deeply hurts family
Four years ago Motsumi Shumba, 21, applied for an identity document, but last November he received a death certificate instead.
Shumba, of Dibata Village near Mmabatho in North West, is a pupil at Kebalipile High School.
He said his problems started three years ago when he received a letter from Home Affairs in Mmabatho after he asked why his identity document was taking so long to be processed.
The letter read: "According to the records of the department, an identity document was already processed in your favour and the document was posted to the following address: The district office, Krugersdorp."
But Shumba said he has never been to Krugersdorp and does not know anyone who lives there.
Last week he received a phone call from the department in Mmabatho to report to their offices. Sowetan accompanied Shumba and his family.
An official, who refused to give his name, said the department was only trying to find out how the family feels about the delay.
The official told the delegation: "We understand your frustration and, as a department, we promise to look into the matter."
When Sowetan pointed out that the department was taking far too long to process the identity document, the official referred the delegation to the department's regional spokesman, Jackie Mashabu.
Mashabu refused to discuss the matter with Sowetan, but promised to fast-track the process.
"We cannot put timeframes on when the identity document will be ready, but it can take up to about six weeks," said Mashabu.
Peter Shumba, the young man's uncle, said that they wanted the ID as soon as possible. He said the family also wants an explanation about why a death certificate was issued when an identity document had been applied for.
The death certificate, issued on November 6, stated that Shumba died on September 23 in Benoni of unnatural causes.