ID blues over for granny

Given Mahlalela

Given Mahlalela

Emily Mashele, 73, is breathing a sigh of relief after she received her eagerly and long-awaited identity document (ID) yesterday.

The Department of Home Affairs in Tonga, Mpumalanga, held a celebration to hand over the ID to the poverty-stricken Mashele of Naas Trust near Komatipoort in Mpumalanga.

" It has been too long waiting for my ID to be released. This has been affecting my whole life, as I was unable to register for the government old-age grant.

"My ID reflected that I was born in 1954 whereas I was not. I thank the department for what it has done to help me," said Mashele, holding back tears of joy.

She looks after six grandchildren whose parents have died.

A manager at Tonga Home Affairs offices, Philip Sithole, said they had been trying to correct Mashele's age since last year.

"As part of our new strategy, we committed ourselves to a no-error department. The delays were caused by our senior officials who took time to rectify the old lady's plight," said Sithole.