ID mix-up makes her a beggar

WRONGED: Raesibe Christina Matjila's ID. Pic. Unknown.
WRONGED: Raesibe Christina Matjila's ID. Pic. Unknown.

A 67-YEAR-OLD Limpopo granny is living in abject poverty with her seven children because the department of Home Affairs is unable to correct her ID book.

A 67-YEAR-OLD Limpopo granny is living in abject poverty with her seven children because the department of Home Affairs is unable to correct her ID book.

She shares a name, surname and ID number with another person.

The woman, Raesibe Christina Matjila of GaTsheere in Marken outside Lephalale, has even earned the nickname of "Mmatlala" - meaning poverty - from her neighbours who are tired of her pleas for assistance.

Each day she wakes up and moves around the village knocking at neighbours doors, pleading either for an odd job or for food to support her children.

Matjila's ordeal started early last year when a group of boys in Polokwane robbed her of her ID book, her old age grant and other items.

Matjila had just left the ATM where she had withdrawn money when she was robbed.

Since then, she has approached the offices of the department of Home Affairs and applied for a new ID book.

"That is where my problems started," she said.

Matjila said officials from the department told her to come after three weeks to collect the new ID book.

"When I collected the ID book, I found that the photo, the ID number and first name were correct. But the surname was wrong," she said.

But that was not the end of Matjila's problems. In fact, it was the beginning of a protracted ordeal that has turned her into a beggar .

Her saga continued at the end of February last year when she went to the pension pay-point at a local bank where officials told her they could not help her if she did not provide them with her original ID book that reflects her photo, correct names and surname.

"I had to go home disillusioned and not knowing where my next meal will come from."

Matjila said she went back to Home Affairs offices to enquire about the mix-up and they told her that she shared her names, surname and ID number with another woman.

She said officials made her apply for another ID book but all the efforts were unsuccessful as the mistakes were not rectified.

Home Affairs spokesperson Sam Moremi invited Matjila to his offices in Polokwane where he promised she would be assisted.

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