The Department of Home Affairs has dismissed two officials for selling fraudulent South African identity documents to foreign nationals, the department said on Tuesday.
Phathisani Outshiki from the Benoni Office and David Mostamai from Germiston were dismissed after being found guilty of gross misconduct for illegal processing of documents.
According to Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza, Outshiki processed 98 passports and 13 IDs at a fee of R1 000 per application. While Motsamai processed 13 passport applications ranging from R2 500 to R5 000 per application.
Qoza said the two culprits pleaded guilty and were concomitantly dismissed. However, Outshiki will be contesting his dismissal.
Qoza also shared that the police are pursuing criminal charges against Outshiki and Motsamai adding they are also tracking the owners of the documents that were sold as well as the buyers.
“The police are tracking the South Africans who sold their identities and the foreign nationals who wanted to buy South African documents they do not deserve.
“Fortunately, all the fraudulently processed IDs and passports were flagged as fraudulent and were removed from Home Affairs records thus rendering them useless and unusable by the people who acquired them. None of these documents were ever used,” Qoza said.
Four other officials from the department’s office in Tzaneen have been suspended for similar offences pending disciplinary hearings. They are accused of processing fraudulent documents.
Said Qoza: “Their disciplinary hearings are scheduled to take place within 10 working days.
“All six officials have been on the radar of the Home Affairs Counter Corruption Branch without their knowledge and them suspecting anything hence it was easy to catch them.”
Commending the success of Home Affairs’ ongoing clean-up operations, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the department is on the trail of more corrupt officials and would not rest until they are brought to account for their acts.
“We shall fearlessly and ruthlessly root out corruption wherever it rears its ugly head. I have no doubt that with support from members of the public who are patriotic enough to report these corrupt practices, we dare not fail but win this battle,” he said.
Motsoaledi also urged South Africans to refrain from selling their identities. He said, “if you sell your identity, you are replaced by a foreign national on our database which means that you will not be able to access services in this country”.
Meanwhile, Dolly Goitsemang Sediti was on Monday convicted on corruption charges. Sediti pleaded guilty to colluding with Leballo Maqalika, 50, who allegedly demanded R6 000 from a foreign national for the release of his brother who was arrested for the possession of illegal documents.
Sediti appeared before the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court on Monday where she was ordered to remain in custody pending her formal bail application scheduled for June 11.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Christopher Singo said in a statement on Monday: “On Thursday, 26 May 2022 information was received by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team based in Bloemfontein about the Home Affairs Senior Immigration Officer who demanded R6000 from a foreign national for the release of his brother who was arrested for allegedly not having proper documents.
“A sting operation was then conducted on Thursday,26 May 2022 where the police arrested Leballo Maqalika (50) after he was found with the R6 000 he demanded from the victim. Further investigation was conducted where the Hawks discovered that Sediti is implicated in corrupt activities with Maqalika. A warrant of arrest was issued and Sediti handed herself over this morning together with her lawyers where she was charged.”
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