minister probes id book SUICIDE

HOME Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will send a delegation to the department's Pinetown offices to investigate the suicide of a man whose ID application was torn up by an official.

HOME Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will send a delegation to the department's Pinetown offices to investigate the suicide of a man whose ID application was torn up by an official.

"We want to determine the identity of the official who handled the application," spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

"A course of action will be recommended once we understand the circumstances."

It is understood that Skhumbuzo Mhlongo, who was born in 1987 and did not seem to have parents, had been trying to get an ID.

Obtaining an ID without a birth certificate requires late registration and involves drawing on statements from people who say they know the applicant, as well as an interview with the people and the applicant by the department.

The home affairs official who was conducting the interview was allegedly not satisfied with the information. The official then allegedly said "this Mhlongo was lying", tore up the papers and threw them at him saying he was a foreigner.

It is also believed that Mhlongo was to start a job and was told to produce his ID or else the job would be given to someone else.

"The minister is determined to ensure that no stone is left unturned in this matter.

"The public has a right to service delivery of high quality ... without having to resort to such drastic action as suicide to make their voices heard," Mamoepa said.

He said Dlamini-Zuma had established a hotline number, 0800-2044-76, to her office to enable the public to register complaints.

The number would be operational every day of the week and has voice recording facilities for the public to leave messages.

The delegation will visit Pinetown tomorrow. - Sapa

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