JOHANNESBURG - Last week we told you about teenager Lawrence Phakathi’s battle to complete matric.
Being the victim of identity theft, he couldn't use his ID number to register for the Grade 12 exams.
We're happy to report that this story has a happy ending.
For Lawrence Phakathi, missing out on his final high school exams, meant forfeiting his dream of becoming a climatologist.
He couldn’t register for the exams because someone else was using his ID number.
“If I do anything currently, any future plans that I have will also concern the other person. Whatever benefits I get the other person will get, I’m kind of worried about those,” said Lawrence Phakathi.
But Phakathi now has a new identity.
Vusi Mkhize from the Department of Home Affairs said, “what happened was that a person who came with supporting documents namely a copy of the mother’s ID and a copy of the birth certificate which had identities of Mr Phakathi. The person then submitted those as his and then we processed the application but when the child came we said wait a minute, you’ve already applied. We then asked the child to submit the supporting documents.The problem was and what we need to establish is where did this fraudster obtain the details of the Phakathi family.”
The department's not ruling out the possibility of an inside job. Meanwhile, the family is relieved.
“I’m very happy, I’m excited and the decision that I took to approach eNCA this wouldn’t have happened. I’m angry because it happened. Our lives, our identities, we as South Africans now are in the hands of the criminals. And I will appreciate if they come back to me and say we found people or person who leaked information to this person because to me, his a criminal,” said the pupil's mother, Maurizon Phakathi.
Home Affairs has since blocked the original ID number, and criminal charges are looming.