Identity crisis a headache for duo

Andrew Hlongwane

Andrew Hlongwane

They are both 21, have the same identity number and have the same names and surnames. But they are not related and they do not know each another.

These Sipho Mhlongos from Dan Village near Tzaneen only discovered they had identity problems last year when one of them tried to open a bank account where the other was already a client. He was surprised when the bank told him he already had an account with them.

"I asked them to print out the account's statement and told them it wasn't mine," Mhlongo said.

The bank advised the two to contact the Department of Home Affairs to try to find a solution.

In June they made affidavits and submitted them to the Tzaneen Home Affairs office and were told to collect their correct IDs in three months' time.

Today, six months later, they are still waiting for their IDs.

Home Affairs spokesman, Mantshele Tau, said he was aware of the problem and promised to help to sort it out.

He said that if officials were found to have been lax "the necessary action would be taken".