Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Bone-headed bureaucracy

It's not just here in the UK where bureaucrats appear to have undergone a frontal lobotomy. Virtually every nation under the sun seems to have been taken over by complete morons. Take the example of a South African man, mistakenly listed as dead by authorities, who has spent four years fighting to prove he is alive so he can get a passport, register a car and change his wife's marital status from "widowed".

Claude Pretorius has been working to correct the bureaucratic error since 2006, when he discovered, while applying for a passport, that the Department of Home Affairs had listed him as dead. "They told me that I could not apply for a passport as I am deceased," the Johannesburg man told the The Star newspaper.

Mr Pretorius said he got a sworn affidavit from police affirming that he is alive and was issued a new identity number, enabling him to buy a car. But the problem resurfaced last year when he tried to register the car with the traffic department. "I found out that my status has again been changed to deceased," he said.

Three weeks ago, Mr Pretorius was given a ticket for failing to license the vehicle. "How is it possible for me to purchase cars, but the minute I need to obtain any form of licensing, I am declared deceased?" he complained. His wife has been unable to give legal help - since she is officially listed as his widow.

Amazing, isn't it? The poor man is declared dead and can't do any of the things he should be able to do but as soon as he infringes one of their petty rules they are able to issue a dead man with a ticket and bring him back to life as if he were Lazarus. I expect they're still taxing him too. 

It never ceases to amaze me how efficient the punishment arm of government works but the bit of the state which is supposed to help people is a shambles. 


  1. The best thing he can do is , who ever sends him a bill or demands tax payments to tell them he can`t pay as he is dead, they will soon make sure he is officially alive then.

  2. Reminds me of a sign at a school swimming competition a few years ago. Before competing, "proof of birth" was required!

  3. I think someone's having a laugh at this poor man's expense. His mother-in-law maybe?

    Hope the leg is improving.

  4. Huh! Ridiculous, isn't it? Indeed, bone-headed bureaucracy is being used in good governance. I think you are right, lobotomy is an appropriate surgical operation that can be very effective to let those government officials wake up from the state of lethargy. A form of government which adheres to Machiavellian perspectives in many ways often succeeds in good governance.