Bungle at Home Affairs marries woman to woman

Langelihle Chagwe

The Department of Home Affairs is to investigate how a Diepsloot woman was fraudulently married to another woman.

Ntombitheni Khumalo, 31, of Diepsloot, had gone to the department's offices in Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal, to register the birth of her six-year-old son when she was told she was married to another woman.

In yet another in a long list of bungles and frauds by the department, she was told she was married to a woman known only as Minul Islam.

The marriage was registered in 2000.

She told Sowetan that the bogus marriage was preventing her from registering her child's birth.

"This 'marriage' is making my life a misery," said Khumalo.

Department of Home Affairs spokesman Mantshele Tau said the matter was being investigated.

Tau said it was strange and that it was the first time the department had received such a complaint.

He said the marriage was fraudulent because it dates back to 2000, before the Civil Union Act, which only came into effect on December 1 2006 and allowing same sex marriages.

Tau said the department would get to the bottom of the matter.

He said Khumalo should make an affidavit that she had never been married.

Tau said after Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had introduced the "Check Your Marriage Status" campaign a few years ago, complaints about bogus marriages had dropped.

The minister had encouraged young women especially to check their marriage status and introduced a website.

The website is www.dha.gov.za