Disabled daughter is all I have, says a delighted mother who was told that her child had died
The Department of Home Affairs has finally restored on paper the life of a disabled teenage girl who was mistakenly declared dead.
Only this time it was not the department's bungle, but a documentary mix-up at the Waverley Care Centre for the disabled in Germiston, Ekurhuleni, in Gauteng.
Nomtandazo Masanabo, 19, was declared dead in October after her medical file was accidentally swopped with that of six-year-old Oratile Noge, who had died.
Masanabo and Noge were both mentally handicapped and lived at Waverley Care Centre before they were transferred to Ikhwezilokusa Home at De Deur in the Vaal in August.
Masanabo's mother, Maria Masilela, from Delmas in Mpumalanga, was distraught after Ikhwezilokusa Home told her that her daughter had died.
The two girls became ill and were admitted to Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging, albeit at different times, during October.
After little Noge was buried by Masilela, Itumeleng Noge, the young child's mother, went to visit her daughter in hospital and discovered that it was her child that had died, and Masilela had buried.
When Sowetan and Masilela visited Masanabo at Waverley last week, she could not contain her happiness when she saw her daughter. The happy mother could not stop herself from touching and kissing her daughter.
The delighted Masilela told the nurses that her daughter looked healthy.
"She looks better than the last time I saw her," she said.
A death certificate had been issued for Masanabo and a Delmas undertaker had already taken her name off the family's funeral scheme. Masanabo's social grant had also been cancelled.
Following Sowetan's intervention, Masanabo's identity document and status has been reactivated. She has also been placed back on the funeral policy.
A happy and relieved Masilela said: "I am very happy that my daughter has her life back.
"The only thing that I ever wanted was to get my child back on the funeral scheme so that I am able to bury her when the time comes. She is all I have. My relatives don't even know her," Masilela said.
She said that she was the "happiest person alive" because she would not have known what to do if Sowetan had not helped her.