Single women warned of bogus marriage scams
The call comes as the office is investigating a case of an elderly woman who cannot claim her late daughter’s pension fund because she is recorded as married to an unknown foreign national who the family and department cannot trace.
Home Affairs spokesman Ngenisile Stuurman said: “We call all women in our district to visit our office because you might think you are not married but in actual fact your ID book was stolen and used to marry you off without your knowledge, we’ve been dealing with lots of such cases.”
According to Stuurman, bogus marriages are the order of the day in South Africa.
Stuurman said the prevalence of the matter has forced the department to make new amendments to the Immigration Act regarding marriages between South Africans and foreign nationals.
“Since 2014 we’ve made it difficult for foreign nationals to marry South Africans after we discovered criminal elements in these marriages – for instance some South African women would marry these guys in exchange for money.”
He said foreigners were interested in marrying South African women so they could obtain permanent residence in South Africa.
An elderly East London woman is appealing for help to claim her late daughter’s R400000 pension fund which was frozen in 2014 after Nongemntu Beseti, 68, tried to claim the money.
It was found that her dead daughter was married to a foreign national by the name of Mohammed Mahroof Talib Hussain born on March 1 1983.
But Beseti said her daughter Neliwe Dyosini was born on January 20 1970 and never married.
No one is able to trace the foreign national including home affairs immigration officials. Beseti is being treated for depression following the shocking news.
She supports her late daughter’s two children with a government old age grant.
“I’m struggling to support the children. I tried all in my power to get their mother’s funds so that I can support them and put them in good schools.”
The nationality of Talib Hussain is not mentioned in the marriage certificate seen by the Dispatch.
According to the certificate issued by the King William’s Town office of home affairs, the two were married on May 6 2003.
The civil marriage certificate was issued on August 11 2014. An abridged death certificate shows Neliwe Esther Talib Hussain died of natural causes at Heidelberg on August 8 2014.
“My daughter was never married; she never mentioned anything to me about marriage and we’ve never heard of this Mohammed before.
Beseti said what pained her more than anything was the possibility that Talib Hussain who was never in the picture from the beginning was set to inherit her daughter’s money.
“I managed to put her through school with the hard earned income from my domestic jobs and she qualified as a teacher, now someone we don’t know might take everything my daughter worked hard for, said an emotional Beseti,” she said.
Stuurman said his office would visit the elderly woman to undertake further investigation.
“We will conduct an investigation hoping that it will lead to the of the marriage.”
Stuurman said a manhunt for Talib Hussain would begin soon.
“After we’ve got him we will deport him to his country of origin,” he added.
Stuurman said a crime ring that involved unscrupulous individuals, including pastors and home affairs officials, were behind the false marriages.
Dyosini’s brother Ntsikelelo Bosman said they had run out of money after paying different lawyers to help them claim the money.
“I’m thinking of writing to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba directly about this matter because no one can help us,” said Bosman.
Gigaba’s spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said of Beseti’s case:
“I encourage people to immediately report such matters to the local office.” — firstname.lastname@example.org