Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has applauded the arrest of 25 home affairs officials and ten civilians at the Zimbabwe border on charges relating to fraud, corruption and allowing undocumented foreigners to troop into South Africa..
“This is clear evidence that the corruption fighting initiatives by the department are bearing fruit and that the scourge of corruption will be defeated,” Home Affairs chairperson Lemias Mashile said on Friday.
“The dereliction of duty on behalf of the arrested officials must dealt with to the full extent of the law and the Committee hopes that internal disciplinary hearings will be kick-started in earnest.”
The Hawks raided home affairs offices at a border post between the Limpopo and Zimbabwe on Thursday, arresting 25 officials for taking bribes of up to R3 000 each.
The officials charge illegal immigrants R3 000 each and allow them into SA without even searching them to find out what they are entering the country with.
The arrested officials stamped fake and expired passports for amounts ranging from R2500 to R3 000.
They also stand accused of stamping passports that were dropped off at the offices by taxis. Meaning the owners don’t even show up and their passports get stamped.
The Committee, meanwhile, called on law abiding South Africans and foreign nationals to help the department identify “unacceptable” corrupt officials at the country’s borders.
139 officials have been arrested so far this year.