Woman fights to prove she’s alive after Home Affairs declares her dead


In a surreal and distressing turn of events, a 29-year-old woman from Soweto alleges that she has been declared dead by the Department of Home Affairs, despite being very much alive.

Lebogang Amanda Malete was stunned to receive a call from an insurance company in 2021 regarding a claim made in her name. Upon investigating further, she discovered that Home Affairs had her listed as deceased due to natural causes, dating back to 2021.

According to Malete, the ordeal began when she lost her ID in Thembisa the previous year. She suspects someone found the document and used it to fraudulently add her to an insurance policy, subsequently attempting to make a claim in her name. It was only when Malete’s mother received the call inquiring about her existence that the family became aware of the deception.

Since then, Malete has made numerous attempts to rectify her official status with the Department of Home Affairs, all to no avail. She has been asked to provide a baptism certificate as proof of her identity and continued existence, but these efforts have yielded no resolution.

The impact on Malete’s life has been devastating. She has been unable to vote, pursue further studies, or seek employment, effectively leaving her life in a state of limbo. Furthermore, Malete is a mother of two children, and her ‘deceased’ status has severely hindered her ability to provide for them adequately, including securing a birth certificate for her son.

Malete’s mother, Betty Malete, has recounted the family’s fruitless efforts to seek assistance from Home Affairs, including visiting Malete’s birthplace. Despite their pleas, the government agency has offered little help, even suggesting the family obtain a letter from a pastor, which also proved unsuccessful.

The Department of Home Affairs has acknowledged the investigation into Malete’s case, but the resolution remains elusive, leaving the young woman in a state of distress and uncertainty about her future.

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