Frederik Ngubane, stateless in South Africa: “It’s like my future is on hold”

Published: 30/Jan/2013
Source: IRIN

Frederik Ngubane, 22, returned to South Africa, the country of his birth, in 2009, after spending his entire childhood in Kenya and Uganda. An orphan, Ngubane had lost all contact with his South African relatives, and soon after arriving in the country he also lost his birth certificate, the only document proving his South African nationality. He has spent four years living as a stateless person, and is now losing hope that his situation will ever change. “My mother was South African and so was my father, but he died in 1993, and then my mother [and I] moved to Kenya. I grew up there until my mother died in 2002, and then I moved to Uganda with my aunt. “When my aunt died, I came back to South Africa to try to connect with relatives. I wasn’t in contact with them, but I knew where they lived; I thought it would be easy.”

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Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Statelessness
Regions: East Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Southern Africa, South Africa
Year: 2013