SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

29 November 2012

South Africa: Home Affairs Ready to Help ID Scam Victims

Pretoria — The Department of Home Affairs says it stands ready to help individuals and insurance companies that fall victim to ID theft, Deputy Director General Jackie McKay said on Thursday.

"We stand ready to assist both insurance companies and individuals whose identity documents are stolen with a view to committing fraud and corruption," said McKay.

This follows on an investigative report by the SABC which exposed a scam that uses fake death certificates and other documents produced by the department to swindle insurance companies through false claim.

"We will cooperate with the Financial Services Board in its investigations into the matter to get those implicated to face the full might of the law," said McKay.

The public is urged to verify the status of their IDs by texting their ID numbers to the department's 32551 SMS number. This will help them in checking whether their identity documents have been duplicated for nefarious activities.

Insurance companies are also urged to contact the department to verify the authenticity of death certificates before falling into the trap of fraud and corruption.

Meanwhile, the department also welcomed the Labour Appeal Court's judgement on Tuesday dismissing the appeal by the Public Servants Association (PSA). The association had brought an urgent application to the court wherein it sought a court order interdicting the department from continuing with the employment of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members.

This comes after Home Affairs, in its aim to become a more security conscious department, decided to recruit members from SANDF at the country's ports of entry. A pilot project was implemented at OR Tambo International Airport, where 350 SANDF members were deployed.

The department had at all times made it clear to trade unions that there would be no job losses.

"Judge Molahleni ruled that the employment of former SANDF members would not have an adverse effect on members of the PSA," said McKay.

Additionally, the department expressed its commitment to the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, which was launched at the weekend.

McKay also reiterated the department's commitment to investigate reports tabled by Intersex and Gender Dynamix before Parliament's Home Affairs Portfolio Committee on Monday.

Yesterday, the department urged members of the public who may have been discriminated by its officials for being transgender or intersex to report such cases.

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