The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba has welcomed the arrest of 18 individuals, including Home Affairs and police officials, as well as members of the public on charges relating to fraud and corruption.
Five Home Affairs officials, ten police officers and three Individuals, who acted as the intermediaries in the commission of these alleged acts of fraud and corruption, were arrested through an operation that commenced early this morning, 29 March 2017. The suspects have been charged with contravention of the Immigration Act. It is alleged that the intermediaries sourced Basotho nationals whose passports have expired and arranged with Home Affairs officials to irregularly stamp the documents, thus securing entry into the country. This network involves the alleged corrupt police officers who would ensure smooth passage of goods at the port of entry.
The arrests form part of the Operation Bvisa Masina, spearheaded by Minister Malusi Gigaba to root corruption out of the Department of Home Affairs. To date, 166 people have been arrested, among them 86 government officials and 80 members of the public.The Minister launched the initiative in July 2015 as a collaborative effort with an objective to work closely with law enforcement agencies as well as government departments in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster.
Said Minister Gigaba: “We will continue to weed out corrupt elements in our Department, in our Government and indeed, in our society precisely because we are of the firm belief that corruption and fraud have no place in our existence. Government has adopted a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption and we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring a corruption-free Home Affairs as an organisation that seeks to provide an efficient and quality service to our clients”.
More arrests are expected.
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