Four former Home Affairs officials from Tzaneen, Limpopo, have been arrested for alleged fraud and corruption involving the issuing of passports to illegal foreign nationals.
Former Home Affairs officials arrested
The suspects, aged between 35 and 43, were nabbed on Wednesday during a sting operation by the Hawks and Home Affairs Counter Corruption and Security members.
The group was employed at the Department of Home Affairs based in Tzaneen as administration clerks. They are accused of allegedly colluding with the runners to recruit South African citizens for money to apply for passports for illegal foreign nationals.
It is alleged that the process of applying for a passport would be followed by the former officials, but when the passport applicants would go for a photo shoot, they would call the foreign nationals to the booth.
As a result, the passports would contain the particulars of South African citizens but the photos would be of illegal foreign nationals.
“The Home Affairs Counter Corruption and Security unit discovered these illegal activities in May this year and referred the matter to the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation.
“During the investigations, it was revealed that the citizens whose particulars were used would be paid R1 000,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke in a statement on Thursday.
Maluleke added the search for other outstanding suspects was still ongoing.
All the arrested suspects are expected to appear in the Tzaneen Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe