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New life for South Africa ID suicide family Mhlongo

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by BAK, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Nov 27, 2009
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    New life for South Africa ID suicide family Mhlongo

    BBC News Online

    Skhumbuzo Mhlongo tried to get a document like this for some time

    The family of South Africa's Skhumbuzo Mhlongo, who committed suicide after he was refused an ID, say they are now ready to move on with their lives. Mr Mhlongo's family have received a house from the government, along with their identity documents.
    "It is a dream come true. Skhumbuzo would be happy," his sister Zandile told the BBC.
    In a case which shocked the nation, the 22-year-old took his life after being refused the papers he needed for a job.
    Two Home Affairs officials have since been fired over the incident.
    The Mhlongos' new home is a three-bedroom house with electricity and running water - a first for the family who were living in run-down house in Kwa-Nqetho village in Hillcrest in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
    "We are very happy. It is like our lives have become brand new now. We can smile again," Ms Mhlongo told the BBC News website.
    "It is sad that it happened like this but we now have IDs and a chance to get jobs. This is something Skhumbuzo always wanted," said his sister.
    Mr Mhlongo had apparently been trying to get an ID card for some time without any luck and had been told to bring someone who could vouch for his nationality.
    In his suicide note, Mr Mhlongo explained how an official had torn up his ID application, calling him a foreigner.
    Spot inspections
    The case moved Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to tears.
    She said her department suspected that the officials who handled the matter had been looking for a bribe from Mr Mhlongo.

    The case moved Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to tears

    The minister also paid a surprise visit to the Pinetown office where the incident happened.
    She said she found "a lot wrong with the office" and promised that her department would visit other offices in the country to inspect their day-to-day running.
    The BBC's Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says the Department of Home Affairs has come under heavy criticism over the years for its inefficiency in issuing ID documents, birth certificates and passports, with some people claiming to have waited up to four years.
    She points out it would be even more difficult to obtain the documents if you have no parents to vouch for your identity.
    Ms Dlamini-Zuma's spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa told the BBC that they were optimistic that "there will be a turn-around in the department".