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‘Frustrated’ man in hostage drama at Home Affairs office in Limpopo

‘Frustrated’ man in hostage drama at Home Affairs office in Limpopo

A man has appeared in court after a hostage drama at the Department of Home Affairs’ offices in Elim outside Louis Trichardt.

Amukelani Baloyi (26) stormed the Home Affairs offices in Elim and pointed a pistol at a female security officer at the registry desk, forcing her into an office where there were four Home Affairs officials, said district manager Zamba Maluleke.

The hostage drama played out over several hours last Friday, with hostage negotiators being called to the scene from Pretoria in the afternoon.

“He was frustrated and blamed the department for delaying his birth certificate application,” said Maluleke. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: Queue the beloved country — welcome to Aaron Motsoaledi’s dysfunctional department of Home Affairs

Home Affairs records indicate Baloyi applied for a birth certificate in 2018, saying he never had one as he does not know the whereabouts of his mother. It has still not been issued to him.

Maluleke said Baloyi was informed that his application could not be processed without DNA tests of his parents or any family members in the country.

“In 2019, he promised to bring a certain old man whom he said is his biological father, but the two never came for DNA. The results of his application were given to him and it showed his late birth certificate registration. In this case, we were still waiting for Baloyi to bring a family member to perform DNA tests,” said Maluleke.

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Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said Baloyi appeared in the Waterval Magistrates’ Court on Monday and again on Wednesday. He faces charges of kidnapping, possession of an unlicensed firearm and pointing a firearm. His next court appearance is on 5 April 2023.

Maluleke said they later realised that Baloyi had a fake identity book with a different name from the one he used when applying for a birth certificate in 2018.

“After he was arrested and taken to the police van we searched his bag and found a fake green ID book. The photo in the ID shows it’s him, but the names were different and it was not issued by Home Affairs.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: High court orders Department of Home Affairs to register birth of stateless man after 10-year battle” 

Maluleke said many people in the district didn’t have ID documents and birth certificates as their parents were Zimbabwean or Mozambican.

“When we come across such cases we request them to bring a parent or next-of-kin to conduct DNA tests. If the results come out positive we issue them with the late registration certificate while applying for identification documents.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Hell Affairs — readers share their sorry tales 

There are frequent reports about delays in processing applications and long queues at some Home Affairs offices across the country, with frustrations running high.

Read more in Daily Maverick:South Africans hamstrung by Home Affairs as complaints over queues and service standards escalate

Struggle to have error on birth certificate fixed 

Experience Chavalala is a frustrated resident of Nkuri village outside Giyani in Limpopo. 

The 21-year-old told Daily Maverick that he had queued countless times at the Department of Home Affairs to change the sex category written on his birth certificate. It indicates that he is a female. “My family has been going up and down to resolve this problem since 2013, all in vain.”

home affairs chavalala

Experience Chavalala is 21, but still battling to get the incorrect sex category changed on his birth certificate. Chavalalas ID number has been concealed in this photograph. (Photo: Supplied)

He said he is unable to apply for an identity document until the mistake is rectified. “Now I cannot register for tertiary level education nor find a job because of the incorrect gender,” said Chavalala.

“The last time I visited the Home Affairs offices was in January last year. I was there to apply for rectification, and they told me that I will get the results in six months, but all in vain.

“I sat for matric examinations in 2020, but the certificate came back unchanged, it is still saying I am a female.” DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Palesa Tyobeka says:

    The service levels at Home Affairs are painful to say the least. And this is a Department whose actions or lack thereof impact on the lives of millions of South Africans. I am often doubtful that officials at Home Affairs are sufficiently sensitive to this.

  • Fran V says:

    I have been married for almost 16 years and have been unable to update my ID despite many, many repeated attempts. I’ve had appointments cancelled (thanks to load shedding), systems down (apparently also load shedding) and I’ve stood in queues only to be told I’m 51st in the queue so they won’t help me today as they can only help 50 people per day. And so I’ve given up. I get crapped on everytime I renew my drivers license or do anything official because my ID is “wrong”. I’ve got used to always taking my marriage certificate but even that is sometimes not acceptable as there are “to many forged ones”. At the end of the day I was anyway only going to add my married name to my maiden name. Maybe one day it will be official, but frankly hubby isn’t phased cause he knows we’re happily married and so it remains just another hoop to jump through with the administration!

  • Graeme J says:

    This reminds me of the gent that released five puffadders into the ABSA Towers offices when he was pissed at the service he was getting from the bank (2004). He was sentenced to an effective 12 months in jail for his efforts. I am sure that the Home Affairs runaround Baloyi has been getting is far, far worse. They deserve an entire den of vipers.

  • David Easterling says:

    True story. About 10 years ago I lost my ID, so went to home affairs to get a new one. I was told that they would have to change my ID number, because my original one was for a woman. I pleaded that this would cause a lot of hassle, but no – I had to have a new ID. It gets worse. I was then told that I had to go to the district surgeon to get a certificate confirming I am a guy. Now understand, I balding, have stubble by 2pm, a hairy chest, a deep voice, and my name is David – hardly an androgynous name. I offered to drop my pants on the spot , but no, it had to be the district surgeon.
    So I went to the DS office. I started to explain my case, and he interrupted me, signed a pre-prepared form and told me they send him 10 cases like mine every day. Here is the best bit – they even sent him one bloke who according to Home Affairs records was dead, and he needed a certificate to confirm that he was alive.
    True story. I swear.

    • andrea96 says:

      Thanks for the laugh. My story (and I am sure everyone on this platform has one) relates to getting married to my second husband. I wanted to keep my surname and not change it to my “new” surname because I would then have to change all the other official documentation, a thought too terrible to contemplate. So I ticked the box “No change of surname” on the form at the time we got married. The time came when I needed to renew my passport. On giving my ID at the desk, the “system” told them I had changed my surname and insisted on giving me the passport in my “new” name! It took me 3 years and countless trips to the DHA to fix it!

  • Jennifer Hughes says:

    All I’m saying is we pretty much all identify with the hostage taker, Baloyi, and that in itself says something profound.

  • Frans Flippo says:

    And the reason for this dysfunction at home affairs is supposedly that there is “no money”. As we know by now, there is plenty of it, but incompetence up to the highest level of government combined with corruption up to the highest level of government means the money isn’t being used to better the country but to line the pockets of politicians and their family and friends, and being wasted on pet projects.

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