Mpumalanga education department says ex-cleaner not alive

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Sam Lukheleni worked tirelessly for the Mpumalanga education department for 10 months and was shocked to be told by them that he was dead.

Lukheleni, 38, had to pinch himself when he was given a document claiming he was "deceased" when he went to claim his benefits from his former employer.

He did everything he could, including making an affidavit to prove that he was still alive, but the department would not budge.

Lukheleni had resigned as a cleaner at an Abet school.

"I went to find out how much I was entitled to from the department," Lukheleni said.

"They gave me documents to fill in my personal details and a month later they told me that their files indicated that I was dead."

Department spokesman Hlahla Ngwenya said an administrative error "might have occurred".

"There is no way the department would suddenly proclaim a person dead if he is still alive.

"We will investigate the matter and, if there are funds due to Lekhuleni, the department will definitely pay him," Ngwenya said.