The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, has vowed to take swift action against officials in his department after it took almost a year to amend a minor’s birth certificate.
The Minister has since delivered the amended birth certificate on Monday after the officials of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) disregarded the court order.
An eight-year-old from KwaZulu-Natal was reportedly about to lose an R8 million overseas inheritance if the Minister did not take the matter into his own hands.
Motsoaledi also met with the mother of the child and apologized for the delay in implementing the court order and how the Centurion Home Affairs officials treated her.
“I am pleased that the matter has been finalized and the document was issued. It is important that citizens become aware that DHA is committed to resolving such cases. I would like to apologize profusely to the mother and the nation for the pain she went through. I am also happy that she has accepted the apology,” said Motsoaledi.
TimesLive reported on Friday that the child’s mother was married to German-born Unisa professor Hans Schulze, who adopted the child in a traditional ceremony just before he succumbed to cancer.
“[Schulze’s] own mother died in Germany some months later, leaving about €400 000. In terms of German law, a descendant may inherit even if they are not named in the will. While a local doctor was claiming the estate, the German court said it would consider the child’s claim, as long as Schulze was named as her father on her birth certificate,” the publication reported.
The Minister is waiting for the report on the investigation into the conduct of the officials and failure to comply with the court order issued by the Pietermaritzburg High Court in November to amend the birth certificate.
“Disciplinary action will be taken against any official found to have flouted the policies and codes governing the civil service,” the DHA said.
The publication said the documents would be couriered to Germany and will arrive in time for a court hearing to determine the inheritance issue on 24 August 2020. – SAnews.gov.za