Identification no longer damnation

Elizabeth Madiba and her family will sleep easy tonight now that their missing teenage daughter Refiloe has been found safe - thanks to Sowetan's intervention.

Elizabeth Madiba and her family will sleep easy tonight now that their missing teenage daughter Refiloe has been found safe - thanks to Sowetan's intervention.

We share their joy and wish them well in dealing with her unbecoming conduct, including bunking school.

Teenagers, especially girls, have absolutely no business spending nights with strangers, traumatising their parents and causing them insomnia. Fortunately for the Madibas - especially for Refiloe - there has been a happy ending.

Our thoughts are with the family of the other girl, whose body has been lying unclaimed at the Diepkloof Police Mortuary since it was found on Sunday morning.

Even more disturbing news is that she was raped and murdered while revellers danced the night away at the now infamous Soweto Beach Party, oblivious to her plight.

Her relatives and friends must be worried sick about her disappearance. An even bigger shock awaits them when they see how the devil's handiwork has transformed a fun-loving, pretty girl into the bloodied corpse that now lies in a cold mortuary drawer.

May they find the strength to deal with their pain.

Which brings us to the thorny issue of carrying identification.

It is our considered view that the problem of missing persons, of whom there are tens of thousands in our country, could be better tackled by encouraging all people to carry a form of identification on them.

Of course, the idea of making people carry identity documents still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many black people, reminding them of the apartheid-era dompas laws that restricted their movement.

But there is nothing wrong with carrying an identity document - we defeated apartheid more than 13 years ago!

Just think of it: Would there be so many "unknown people" lying in our hospitals if they had IDs on them?

Would our state mortuaries be overflowing with unidentified bodies, many of whom end up being buried as paupers, if we all carried IDs?

Let's do ourselves and those we love a favour by voluntarily carrying some form of positive identification on us - just in case. You never know when it might come in handy.

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