There is a lesson for all of us regarding monitoring our formal identities, says Kevin Mayhew, operations manager at Full Circle Communications in Cape Town.
“The problem I am experiencing is quite common, and involves my ID document (it can also be your number/fingerprints) popping up with two names,” says Mayhew.
It’s been a problem that first surfaced in his case in 2005, according to Home Affairs. “It does not seem to impact on checks for things like credit applications and bank accounts, for some reason, as I have merrily gone along with these, believing that all was okay. However, if you want to do any ‘inter-Home Affairs’ stuff, your ID is blocked.
“That is where my problem arose as I was providing a Home Affairs ID for the passport I needed. At this point it is your responsibility to prove that you are you, and not the imposter who is also using your ID. The key document is your birth certificate, then any other proof of your existence – school reports, marriage certificates, and especially paperwork from before the duplication.
“The Home Affairs website has a facility to check whether your ID has any problems attached to it that are likely to be a hindrance when trying to convert to the new card ID. I should imagine it will apply for marriage and death certificates too.”
Mayhew recommends viewing the website regularly, as any problem with an ID must be dealt with as soon as possible. “It has to be done, so there’s no point in waiting. It is a pain, but that is the way it is.
“Mine took four visits to Home Affairs with queues, police affidavits, bank verifications, certified copies of at least five supportive documents attesting to me being the holder of my ID, before they felt it was sufficient to make an application for it to be rectified and a new ID to be issued. I am still waiting for mine, as I had no starting point (the birth certificate), which was waylaid in my travels.”
Mayhew was unable to track down any companies that undertake this job on behalf of others, “as you have to be at Home Affairs in person, so grin and bear it”, he says.