Home Affairs fires and suspends staff over sale of SA identity docs
By Jonisayi Maromo
Pretoria – The Department of Home Affairs has dismissed two employees for fraud relating to selling of South African identities to foreign nationals who did not deserve the documents.
“Another four officials have been suspended for similar offences. Mr Phathisani Outshiki, from the Benoni office, was found guilty of gross misconduct for processing 111 documents for undeserving foreign nationals using particulars of South African citizens for a fee of R1 000 per application,” said Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza.
He said 98 of these documents were passports and 13 were identity documents.
“Mr Outshiki pleaded guilty and he was subsequently dismissed. However, he is appealing his dismissal. Mr Morena David Motsamai, from the Germiston office, was found guilty of gross misconduct in that he processed 13 passport applications for undeserving foreign nationals using particulars of South Africans,” said Qoza.
“He was paid between R2 500 and R5 000 per application. Mr Motsamai pleaded guilty and did not appeal the sanction. He was subsequently dismissed.”
Qoza said the police were pursuing criminal charges against Outshiki and Motsamai.
“In addition, the police are tracking the South Africans who sold their identities and the foreign nationals who wanted to buy South African documents they do not deserve. Fortunately, all the fraudulently processed IDs and passports were flagged as fraudulent and were removed from Home Affairs records thus rendering them useless and unusable by the people who acquired them,” said Qoza.
He said none of these documents were ever used.
On Friday, the department suspended four officials at the Tzaneen office who were allegedly processing fraudulent documents.
Their disciplinary hearings are scheduled to take place within 10 working days.
“All six officials have been on the radar of the Home Affairs Counter Corruption Branch without their knowledge and them suspecting anything hence it was easy to catch them.”
Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has warned that the ongoing intensive fight to root out corruption at the national department will continue without fear.
“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 Motsoaledi.
He said his department was on the trail of more home affairs officials “who are involved in these shameful acts and will continue to arrest them”.
The minister 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 the country,” said Motsoaledi.