Home Affairs Officials Arrested For Talking R300 Bribe To Validate Expired Passports

Home Affairs immigration officials have taken bribes of at least R300 in a bid to validate expired passports.

Six of the officials, including a police officer and a Mozambican woman – who is a Hawker at the Lebombo Border Poster have been arrested.

This is what Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi brought to light on POWER Drive on Friday.

I went to Lebombo Border Post between South African and Mozambique. We were going there for the purpose specifically to arrest seven officials plus a Mozambican national,” said Motsoaledi.

He says following a tip off 18 months ago, the Hawks and Home Affairs Counter Crime Unit kept a watchful eye on the syndicate.

“We staged a sting operation – which consisted of undercover agents.”

Motsoaledi explained that for visits between Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, one does not need a visa but a passport.

“But in terms of the law you can only stay for 90 days. You must go back home after 90 days,” he says adding that failure to stick to the stipulated time deems one persona non grata in South Africa once you appear at the border.

“And you may not be allowed in South Africa – whether you come legally or illegally – for up to five years. That is the effect of exceeding the 90 days.”

He explains that the scammers collected the passports the are closed to expiration, “which means you have beaten that 90 days you can stay”.

“That allows people to stay here forever,” added Motoaledi.

“The undercover officials charge them R300 and they will agree. What we don’t know is how many R300s they got or whether they [received] more than R300,” he said.

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