Home affairs suspends immigration officer for 'selling IDs for R50k' after TV 'exposé'

22 June 2023 - 12:52
By Unathi Nkanjeni
The home affairs department has suspended an immigration officer from the North West amid allegations of selling South African identity documents for R50,000.
Image: Supplied The home affairs department has suspended an immigration officer from the North West amid allegations of selling South African identity documents for R50,000.

The home affairs department has suspended an immigration officer from the North West amid allegations she was selling South African identity documents for R50,000. 

The official, identified as “Elizabeth”, was allegedly exposed during a recent episode of Sizokthola on Moja Love. The show focuses on drugs, addiction and their effect on society, among other problems. 

Speaking to TimesLIVE, department spokesperson Siya Qoza said it had taken action against the official.

“Department of home affairs placed the official on precautionary suspension on Tuesday, pending an investigation,” said Qoza. 

On the show, the official was accused of allegedly working with drug dealers in the province and also allegedly selling South African identity documents for R50,000.

During the “exposé”, she was found with alleged screenshots of official home affairs documents on her phone, and multiple IDs, including some allegedly belonging to her, her daughters and her husband.

Last year, the department dismissed two employees for selling South African identities to foreigners. Another four officials were suspended for similar offences. 

Phathisani Outshiki from the department's Benoni office was found guilty of gross misconduct for processing 111 documents for illegal foreign nationals using particulars of South African citizens for a fee of R1,000 per application. Ninety-eight of the documents were passports and 13 were IDs. 

Outshiki pleaded guilty and was subsequently dismissed. However, he appealed against his dismissal.

Morena David Motsamai from the Germiston office was found guilty of gross misconduct after processing 13 passports for ineligible foreign nationals. He was paid between R2,500 and R5,000 per application. 

Motsamai pleaded guilty and did not appeal against the sanction. He was later dismissed. 

“We shall 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 Aaron Motsoaledi. 

Motsoaledi said his department was on the trail of more home affairs officials involved in “shameful acts”. 

“If you sell your identity, you are replaced by a foreign national on our database which means you will not be able to access services in the country”, he said. 

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