South Africa: Media statement on prohibition of enabling documents to Engcobo church members

Published: 5/Mar/2018
Source: South Africa Ministry of Home Affairs

The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba has, through the Director-General, issued a directive to the Provincial Manager of the Department in the Eastern Cape to commence with processes to conduct an audit of enabling documents to affected community members who were part of the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry in Engcobo in the Eastern Cape.

According to the police, members of the Ministry were forbidden to have identity documents while children were not allowed to have birth certificates and prohibited from attending school.

Section 20 of the Constitution states that no citizen may be deprived of citizenship while Section 28 (1) (a) guarantees the right to a name and a nationality for every child from birth. To this end, without a birth certificate, any individual’s nationality cannot be affirmed, thus rendering them stateless.

Minister Gigaba has expressed his dismay at the wanton disregard of the law by those implicated in this injustice and has declared that government will not watch on the sidelines while people’s constitutional rights were being trampled on by those who sought to exploit vulnerable members of the society.

“Of particular concern to me, is the exploitation of children and women whose rights have been blatantly disregarded by being denied their basic right; their sense of belonging; their birthright to identity. No individual has the authority to deny any citizen of our Republic their Constitutional right to identity through the imposition of their irrational beliefs.

“In this regard, I have given an instruction to the Provincial Manager for Home Affairs in the Eastern Cape, through the Director-General, to visit the area and conduct an audit to determine the extent to which these vulnerable members of the society have been affected, with a view, of course, to begin the process of documenting them to ensure that they reflect on the National Population Register,” said the Minister.

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Themes: Identity Documents, Birth Registration, ID Documents and Passports
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2018