Boxer in ID theft wrangle

FILE IMAGE: Rofhiwa Maemu, seen here against Immanuel Andeleki of Namibia.
FILE IMAGE: Rofhiwa Maemu, seen here against Immanuel Andeleki of Namibia.

Former WBA Pan African featherweight champion Rofhiwa "War Child" Maemu is at the centre of a controversy about an alleged identity theft.

This was revealed when a Soweto woman appeared on Moja Love channel on Saturday desperately needing help in obtaining an identity.

The woman, from Pimville in Soweto, broke down as she told her eight years of struggle in getting an ID. She said her mother took her birth dates and used them in obtaining the identity for Maemu, the son of her boyfriend.

The 28-year-old detailed how her life has been on hold since she could not find work or even further her studies due to the identity thefts.

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She was born in 1991, while her half brother Maemu, was originally born in 1990.

"I have two kids and I cannot register them for government grant and get them birth certificates due to the problem," she told Moja Love.

When the woman first applied for an ID in Venda, Limpopo, she said the system rejected her application.

She said: "The system picked up that my mother's fingerprint was used in obtaining Rofhiwa's ID, who has the same birth dates as mine. It was only then that my mother told me the truth."

The woman further said her mother confessed at home affairs department that she committed fraud and she was asked to pay a R1,500 fine.

Maemu confirmed to Sowetan that he was aware of her half sister's predicament. He said he noticed that he had incorrect birth dates when he met his biological mother in 2009. "Since my mother did not raise me, I thought the details that I had were correct. When I needed identity document my father and stepmother assisted to get me one.

"My mother told me that I was born on June 23 1990, not October 13 1991 as my current ID states. I also learned that the dates I am using were, in fact, my half sister's birth dates," he said.

Maemu said in the past days people have been accusing him of defrauding the woman.

"It is painful and hurting me that she is the victim. I feel the problem is far deeper than it looks. I admit that our parents committed fraud that is costly to her," Maemu said. "I'm not the one who did this, it is our parents and I feel her pain."

Home affairs has not responded to questions at the time of going to print.

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