Renthia van Rensburg, a mother of a disabled young man tries for almost a year to prove to social services and her bank that she is alive.
She is a former 49-year old teacher, from Onderstepoort near Pretoria. She resigned as a teacher to take up the full-time responsibility of looking after her disabled son.
The woman says that there was a computer mistake when at the first time she addressed her bank asking to check her account in December 2017. In its turn, the bank told her the account had been frozen because the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) informed them that she had been declared dead.
“I managed to convince the bank that I was very much alive. They then released the money in my account,” Renthia van Rensburg said.
However, it was only the beginning. The second time the bank froze her account was on February 2018.
“I went to home affairs to try and establish what the problem was. I was then told that I was declared dead on August 25, 2017. I got such a fright that I fainted,” she said.
“All my pleading to staff at the Arcadia offices of DHA fell on deaf ears,” the woman added.
After months of frustration, she established that there were three death certificates reflected on her profile. She was eventually referred to the DHA head office where she was asked to reapply to have her status declared null and void.
“I handed in a sworn affidavit that I am indeed still alive. I even took my mother and father with to declare that I am their legitimate child,” Renthia van Rensburg complained.