‘Dead woman’ gets her life back

Pinky Ncube, the Durban woman who was facing financial ruin and other difficulties because she was considered dead according to Department of Home Affairs records, says her life is back on track.

Ncube, 34, had her bank account frozen and could not claim maternity leave benefits because Home Affairs’ records showed she had died of natural causes in Mtubatuba in 2015.

She only discovered the problem when she applied for maternity leave benefits at the Department of Labour in Pinetown late last year.

Home Affairs provincial manager Cyril Mncwabe said Ncube had been declared dead by a conman looking to benefit from an insurance scam.

He said the matter had been corrected.

The Mercury reported on Ncube’s plight about a week ago. Thereafter the matter was quickly escalated to senior managers in the province.

Ncube said: “On Friday I received a call from the Home Affairs provincial manager to come to their offices with my mother.”

She said she learnt during the meeting that the ID she applied for in high school and later lost, had been used to commit fraud to declare her dead.

“Someone in Mtubatuba had somehow gotten hold of my old ID and went to Home Affairs and filed a report that I had died, seemingly for financial benefit,” she said.

Ncube said that on Tuesday, she received another call from Mncwabe to tell her that she had been cleared.

“He told me that they would send me a letter that I should take to the Department of ­Labour to claim my benefits, and would also talk to the banks so they could unfreeze my accounts.

“I am very happy that the matter was published, because otherwise I would still be going back and forth trying to resolve it,” she said.

Mncwabe said Home ­Affairs was not at fault and the death had been registered because at the time it was believed to be genuine.

“Normally we will pick up that fraud is being committed when there are documents missing. In this case all the documents were in order. We have opened a case with the ­police in Mtubatuba.”

The Mercury