The Department of Home Affairs has fired two (2) workers as part of ongoing clean-up efforts for fraud involving the sale of South African identities to foreign people who did not qualify for such documents. For identical offences, four other officials have been suspended.
For processing one hundred and eleven (111) documents for undeserving foreign people using information from South African citizens for a cost of R1,000 each application, Mr. Phathisani Outshiki, from the Benoni office, was found guilty of gross misconduct. Thirteen (13) of these documents were identification cards, and 98 (98) of them were passports.
After Mr. Outshiki entered a guilty plea, he was fired. He is, however, contesting his firing.
The Germiston office’s Mr. Morena David Motsamai was found guilty of gross misconduct for processing thirteen (13) passport applications for undeserving foreign people while exploiting South Africans’ personal information. For each application, he received between R2 500 and R5 000.
In his guilty plea, Mr. Motsamai chose not to challenge the punishment. The next day, he was fired.
Criminal charges are being pursued by the authorities against both Mr. Outshiki and Mr. Motsamai. The police are also looking for South Africans who sold their identities and foreigners who tried to purchase fraudulent South African passports.
Fortunately, all of the IDs and passports that had been processed fraudulently were recognised as fraudulent and deleted from Home Affairs records, leaving them useless and inaccessible to the holders. These papers were never used in any way.
Four (4) employees at the Tzaneen office who were reportedly processing fake paperwork were suspended by the department on Friday, July 1. They have 10 working days to appear at their disciplinary hearings.
It was simple to catch the six officials because they were all on the Home Affairs Counter Corruption Branch’s radar without their knowledge or suspicion.
“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” said Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.
Minister Motsoaledi noted that his department is pursuing further Home Affairs employees implicated in these despicable deeds and will keep making arrests. The Minister also praised the exceptional majority of Home Affairs employees who continue to work with honesty and integrity in spite of the lucrative temptations that a small number of others, who are currently being detained, have succumbed to.
The Minister has once again urged South Africans to stop selling their identities to foreign nationals. “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 country”, concluded Motsoaledi.