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Open letter: Upgrade efficiency of government processes (we want our visa)

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Dear Fellow South Africans,

I am seeking solidarity in an attempt to save our lives. Please help make our voice heard.

Neytiri Pimpatcha Clark, our new born now 3 months old has been denied her right as a South African to be recognised as a South African, as even though I walk through clinics and hospitals with signs everywhere saying “Register your baby withn 30 days, it is the law!”, my government REFUSES to allow me to do so, and this is just the beginning of her nightmare. My government’s refusal subjects my family’s innocence to being a criminal. 

I, Tjad Ivan Clark, husband of Nattaya Clark with signed oath under Thai law, have been fighting for our right to live in freedom here in the Republic of South Africa, and with not even a fraction of support from my government, despite my multiple pleas for assistance. I have constantly been trying to “prove?” and maintain our innocence here within the republic and the government continues to keep us in sleepless nights shivering in anxiety with stress. Since when was our government permitted this?
We have been trying to apply for a relative’s visa for my wife for the last 2 years, trying to get the required documents together and submit them to our government. We have done so successfully, yet our government persists in being ignorant, they insist on subjecting our natural innocence to fail the law around documents which they are responsible for as if we are criminals.

There is no religion or God who states that if we want to have children, that we first have to register a marriage with the government nor that if we wanted to pursue our love together and be a family we would have to FIRST update the government’s database. No, in fact birth is such a beautiful natural phenomenon that only takes 9 months to undergo, and these 9 months are about coming closer together as 2 individuals who are wanting to be a family, this has always been a sacredness about birth despite all our neglected mothers abandoned by their cowardly partners. It’s about these 2 individuals doing their best to create an environment where the future of their offspring is given the possibility to strive in excellence, to continue our generations to come. And how can we as parents achieve this with the government’s ill and inefficient processes that convolute our lives? If I tried to completely abide first by our government’s processes to get THEIR document database up to date, I fear I would lose the prime of my life going senile, and I will not allow my rights nor my dignity as a natural human being to be taken away from me like this by anyone, let alone a company/organisation known as the government.

Yes, the government are responsible for updating their database as they are the ones who maintain it, and their inability to update their records efficiently should not subject me nor my family to being criminals, yet now our family find the government persisting with this. Since when was the government allowed to bring on a status quo subjecting us to being criminals unless we proved our innocence, and let alone for their paperwork that THEY require to be done? I am innocent, as is my wife, as is my child, and I maintain the right to my innocence, dismissing any assumptions of my guilt as they are far beyond six sigma from the reality.

The government works for us, that’s why we pay them taxes, but they seem to think they are entitled to that when no other company/organisation ever was, they seem to think that we work for the government, but my payslip doesn’t reflect any payments from the government. I gladly try to do things mutually, but this isn’t mutual, this is their force unto us, a form of slavery said to have been abolished in 1835. And if my government can’t recognise me, a fellow South African having lived on South African soil for 27 years, why should I recognise them for anything above a lost cause for a company, especially if they continue to prove themselves to be.

I am now to exclaim that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) are doing their jobs incorrectly with the most inefficiency, that during January 2017 they have received my wife’s visa application documents after multiple frustrating attempts, and now that they have ALL valid original documents required, AND that they have acknowledged our scenario AND that they are in agreement with us, but still maintain that we need to obtain copies of these documents again and resubmit a new application for a visa again, despite that we have done so already. This response took 6 months alone. When I received the positive response from the DHA acknowledging that we should be allowed to obtain a visa, they failed to send the visa? 

June 5th 2017, After speaking to officials at Visa Facilitation Services(VFS), they state that my wife is now illegal, that I have to gain access to a DHA 1759 - Form 20 (as per 2014 law regulations), and that once I have this, then only can I apply AGAIN! FOR WHAT??? And with a 6 month deadline? Is this because DHA overlook or can’t discern between 2 applications sent via 1 courier trip? Certainly showing incompetence and neglect. Or is this because they actively try to be abusive, subjecting their fellow South Africans to ill convoluted processes at each South African’s expense?

Why should any South African citizen have to go through the process of obtaining documents that take months to obtain, intruding our lives and wasting hundreds of hours trying to obtain them, each document having their own limited life span of 3-6 months? When trying to obtain and synchronise multiple such documents, it’s ludicrous with 1 document expiring while waiting for another. This is beyond trying to have documents internationalised from DIRCO. And with each little step, there is no integration between government departments, not even internal integration within 1 department as proven by the response of ignorance from my own DHA Metropolitan’s (Cape Town) District Manager, Ignitius Mokgele, “Please note that we no longer deal with visas and permit matters”(24th Janurary 2017), assuming I had a complaint when my email’s subject clearly stated I was requesting for urgent help? YOU ARE DHA, the DISTRICT MANAGER of the DHA Ignitius??

What does our government do? Why do we pay taxes?

No DHA! I will not fill in a Form 20 only due to your own ignorance and abuse in subjecting our lives as a family in being criminals! You have and have had all necessary documents for 6 months (I have your acknowledgement of this). And I will not fill in extra documents for the registration of the birth of our child as again I have explicit acknowledgement from your department that I have tried to do such a birth registration, but due to your ill formation of conflicting processes you could not register my baby within 7 days? Why should I? Especially if you don’t pay me to, and when in fact, I am paying you to do this as a part of my taxes??  I am not to be seen as rebellious, rather simply that I have been trying to comply, asking for your assistance, to which you have failed in providing. I have lost all confidence that any interaction I do with DHA will gain any benefit in my lifetime with the current processes that the government persists in maintaining which intrude on my life and South Africa’s constitution. And it seems to me that DHA are losing their touch with keeping families safe and together, the sole responsibility that the DHA should uphold. 

We live in the 21st century, yet you, our government, maintain a system that appears to be less efficient than that of the 19th century. I am a data scientist, having been in the software industry for the last 10 years, I know very well about process efficiency, and this is far beyond illegitimate, especially for a system with the calibre of this importance. Your processes have already wasted enough of my family life’s precious time, and you can’t give that back to us. Your processes have failed both you and I, to keep your records up to date, and to not impede on my life. You can however correct this, removing any further detriment you have caused to our family and the families of others.

The government’s database does not constitute our reality, and hence if our government can’t keep their database up to date, they can’t use it as a source that indicates the reality of any individual’s life, and expecting us to be enslaved to keeping the government’s database up to date via their inefficient processes, sits beneath our constitution. The status quo was never that we were born a criminal trying to prove our innocence. 

Our government needs to upgrade the efficiency of their processes and ensure the guarantee of not impeding on South Africa’s constitution. And we expect as a first step, the government rightfully and duly sends my wife’s relative VISA as a matter of urgency.

Best fortunes,
Tjad Ivan Clark

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