Pretoria home affairs official released on R2 000 bail

A Home Affairs official who was charged with fraud was granted R2000 bail in the Pretoria Magistrate’s court on Thursday.

A department of home affairs official charged with fraud was on Thursday released on R2 000 bail by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.

The 35-year-old was arrested at the department’s head office in the CBD on allegations of fraud and taken to the Pretoria Central police station.

He is alleged to have fraudulently given foreign nationals in the country illegal citizenship by removing the markers that showed them to be illegal immigrants from the department database.

Home affairs spokesperson Thabo Mokgola said the official was arrested on Tuesday following a joint investigation by the police and the department’s counter-corruption branch.

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“The official is alleged to have intentionally and unlawfully removed ‘illegal’ markers on the national population register (NPR) without following official processes. His actions resulted in certain foreign nationals who had been declared illegal gaining entry into the NPR unduly,” said Mokgola.

He said the Immigration Act stated that: “Any civil servant who provides false or intentionally inaccurate or unauthorised documentation or benefit to an illegal immigrant, or facilitates such foreigner to disguise his/her identity or status or accept financial or other consideration to perform an act or exercise his/her discretion in terms of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment.”

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Mokgola said the department would withdraw the ID numbers fraudulently given to the illegal immigrants, and disciplinary steps would be taken against the official.

“The arrest of the official forms part of Operation Bvisa Masina, Tshivenda for ‘weeding out the rot’, which seeks to rid the department of corrupt elements. The majority of home affairs officials are incorruptible, honest, hardworking and adhere to the principles of Batho Pele,” said Mokgola.

The man is expected to be back in court next week.

 

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  AUTHOR
Tshegofatso Ngobeni
Journalist

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