Home Affairs shifts the blame

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Manamela Gilford Legodi was a married man, but when he died his wife discovered their 31-year marriage never existed.

At least that is according to yet another Department of Home Affairs bungle.

Helen Legodi, 50, of Protea North, Soweto was married under civil law to her husband in 1976, in Johannesburg.

He died last year, but his death certificate stated he was "never married", and as a result she could not access her husband's estate.

"We were married in community of property, which entitled me to his estate," said Legodi.

She feared she would lose the house because she could not transfer it into her name.

Legodi said her husband's death was registered under incorrect identity numbers, which led to the death certificate being issued with a "never married" status.

"Before he died he was still trying to rectify the mistake caused by the department," said Legodi.

She said her husband had lost his ID and when he applied for a new one it came back with the incorrect numbers.

"I have called home affairs offices several times to explain the situation, but all my efforts have been in vain," she said.

Home Affairs chief director of communications, Jacky Mashapu, said people should learn to take responsibility for their ID problems.