Claude Pretorius has been working to correct the bureaucratic error since 2006, when he discovered, while applying for a passport, that the Department of Home Affairs had listed him as dead. "They told me that I could not apply for a passport as I am deceased," the Johannesburg man told the The Star newspaper.
Mr Pretorius said he got a sworn affidavit from police affirming that he is alive and was issued a new identity number, enabling him to buy a car. But the problem resurfaced last year when he tried to register the car with the traffic department. "I found out that my status has again been changed to deceased," he said.
Three weeks ago, Mr Pretorius was given a ticket for failing to license the vehicle. "How is it possible for me to purchase cars, but the minute I need to obtain any form of licensing, I am declared deceased?" he complained. His wife has been unable to give legal help - since she is officially listed as his widow.
Amazing, isn't it? The poor man is declared dead and can't do any of the things he should be able to do but as soon as he infringes one of their petty rules they are able to issue a dead man with a ticket and bring him back to life as if he were Lazarus. I expect they're still taxing him too.
It never ceases to amaze me how efficient the punishment arm of government works but the bit of the state which is supposed to help people is a shambles.