‘Prove SA citizenship’

Home Affairs say that a local man’s South African citizenship is in dispute, despite him being in possession of a green ID book, and having lived in South Africa since the 1980s.

Wynand van der Walt said after he applied for a Smart ID Card recently, Home Affairs officials questioned his citizenship when he went to collect it. They refused to give it to him or refund him for it.

Van der Walt was born in Zimbabwe but his father is South African. The family moved to SA in the 1980s and as far as he knows, he is a South African citizen.

“The guys at the Home Affairs in New Hanover, where I was meant to collect my Smart ID Card, gave me three numbers to call to sort out the matter, but only one of those numbers went through. I was told to send through my father’s ID number and a picture of my green ID book and from there no one has ever gotten back to me. My attempts to follow up the matter were all in vain,” said Van der Walt.

The Boughton man also complained about the service he had received leading up to his Smart ID Card being ready for collection.

“I had applied for my Smart ID Card as well as my wife’s and son’s passports online and we struggled to get into the Pietermaritzburg Home Affairs to do fingerprints because of the long queues. We went to Pinetown but the queues were also too long and we ended up going to the Scottburgh Home Affairs,” he said.

Home Affairs KZN provincial manager Cyril Mncwabe said one of the reasons they were doing away with the old green ID book and encouraging people to apply for Smart ID Cards was to find all the fraudulent IDs and those which were not captured correctly on their system.

“Citizenship is only automatic from the mother’s side, so the only way the man could have obtained South African citizenship was through naturalisation. If he indeed obtained it through naturalisation he needs to produce his letter of naturalisation to us and he might also need to do a DNA test with his father to prove that he is truly his son,” he said.

Mncwabe said he would contact Van der Walt on Wednesday as he needs to be interviewed on the matter and he will then try to assist him further.

Van der Walt said he would wait for Mncwabe to contact him, but he would not be able to do the DNA test as his father is dead.