Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has applauded the arrest of 20 home affairs officials and six civilians at the Lesotho border on charges relating to fraud and corruption.

“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 Free State and Lesotho on Thursday, arresting 20 officials for taking bribes of up to R2 000 each.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told reporters that the department had decided to work with the Hawks to “set a trap” for all the officials involved in fraud and corruption related cases.

The officials allegedly stamped expired passports for amounts ranging from R150 to R2 000. They also stand accused of stamping passports that were dropped off at the offices by taxis.

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.

109 officials have been arrested so far this year.