Woman who gave birth twice in one year can’t get birth certificate

Nompumelelo Caluza had a child in January and twins prematurely in October. Home Affairs doesn’t think it’s possible.

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Photo of a woman
After five years of trying, Nompumelelo Caluza has been unable to get documentation for her prematurely born child. Photo: Zimbili Vilakazi

Nompumelelo Caluza has been trying for over five years to get a birth certificate for her six-year-old daughter at the Home Affairs Prospecton branch in Isipingo, south of Durban.

She says officials have refused to believe that she gave birth twice in the same year.

“On 28 January 2012 I gave birth to my first daughter. A few weeks after that I fell pregnant again. This time I was blessed with twins, whom I gave birth to on 6 October 2012,” said Caluza.

The twins, Lubanzi and Lukhona, were born prematurely and had to be placed in an incubator. “Unfortunately, Lubanzi died, but Lukhona lived. When we were discharged from Prince Mshiyeni Hospital, I tried applying for Lukhona’s birth certificate, but the Home Affairs system denied the application as it picked up that I had given birth in January the same year,” said Caluza.

She said she has been going in and out of the branch trying to have the application processed but officials kept telling her that the system was rejecting her application.

“Right now my twin daughter is supposed to be in Grade 1, but she is not, because a birth certificate is required for registration. I don’t know what else I should do,” said Caluza.

She has letters from the hospital confirming her admission for the birth in January and her admission for the premature birth of the twins, and she has the death certificate for Lubanzi.

The spokesperson of the Department of Home Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal, Cyril Mncwabe, said Caluza’s complication could be solved.

“I will contact the branch and hear what they have to say regarding the application. I will also call Caluza to get her side of the story and then I will facilitate the application process. I will make sure that she is assisted,” said Mncwabe.

TOPICS:  Home Affairs

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Write a letter in response to this article


Dear Editor

I read about the difficulty you have had getting someone to believe a woman could give birth twice a year. I can tell you that I am a second child, and I was born 11 months after my sister. I am 61 years old, and have my birth certificate, and my sister has hers, so we can prove it. People always thought we were twins, and we took great delight in telling people we were not, although for three weeks out of the year, we could say that we were the same age.

Dear Editor

I am a 43-year-old woman from Bloemfontein. I gave birth twice in 2007. My second- born was born on January 25, 2007 and his brother was born on 18 December 2007. They were both full term babies.

I never experienced any problems with Home Affairs. They were always mistaken as twins and people never believed that they were not.

They shouldn't frustrate that poor woman; it does happen and it happened to me!

Dear Editor

I was born in 1974. I lost my parents when I was 7 years old and was taken in by nuns who looked after me after my own so-called relatives turned their backs on me. When I started school, I had no help from them to get a correct dated birth certificate.

My grandmother was alive but old and could not manage to get that birth certificate with the right date. The nuns had no choice so I was given a wrong year birth certificate. When I got older I managed to trace my aunt who was too scared to go to home affairs and get me the right document.
I then went to home affairs myself where I was called a liar and verbally abused by the officers that I ended giving up. Now I have lived my life with the wrong I.D. dates as I was told to wake my parents up from their graves.

This is why our country is in shambles with the wrong people on the jobs. All what they need is bribes. I have been to Wynberg Home Affairs in Cape Town and was directed to change but because of black and coloured issue it was again a mission unaccomplished.

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