The Department of Civil and National Registration has finally issued Ranko Selato with a national identity card.
He had been waiting for it for more than a year.
Selato, who left Botswana to work in the South African mines as a young man, had lived in South Africa for almost 60 years and was discovered and brought back home to Botswana through the popular Khumbulekhaya television program of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
The man will now be able to receive all the social benefits that his age mates are enjoying.
With tears of joy, the family spokesperson, Nteseng Selato, told Sunday Standard the family is very delighted that Selato finally has an identity card, which he only received last week after an agonising wait.
Nteseng reported that spirits are very high within the family as well as in the entire village that the ailing old man can now be supported.
She revealed that since his arrival sometime last year, it has not been easy to provide for Selato. The council was unable to assist just because he did not have the ID.
“Unfortunately Selato is not well and his sight is failing him as well,” she stated.
Nteseng is thankful to all those who rallied behind her family, together with the Kgatleng District Office, for the support.
The area councillor, Boyce Tladi, shared the same jubilation with the Selato family.
He said it was unfortunate that the Selato family had to endure all the suffering but said the most important thing was that they had been assisted. I stand to be corrected, but I do believe that there are people who are old that have not been issued with IDs and the relevant department should take the responsibility of finding ways of assisting.
Selato was last seen in the 1940s when he quietly disappeared to South Africa to seek employment without the knowledge of the family and his family thought he was dead.
A welcome home party was held in the family home and was attended by multitudes, a few days after his arrival.