Three officials from the department of home affairs in Queenstown are facing corruption charges after allegedly taking a bribe from a Malawian asylum seeker.
The three appeared before the Queenstown Magistrate’s Court yesterday but the case was postponed due to a lack of legal representatives.
The three, identified by the South African authorities as; Simphiwe Mahala, 37, Mziwamanene Ncapayi, 56, and Pozisa Ntlabati, 35, were arrested on September 2 through a joint operation between the serious corruption investigation unit of the Hawks and the police’s crime intelligence unit.
According to the Eastern Cape Hawks spokeswoman, Feni said the three immigration officials arrested the 28-year-old Malawian for being in possession of invalid asylum seeker documents last month.
“They arrested the man for having invalid assylum seeker documents but they allegedly released the man the same day in return for a bribe,” Feni said.
“The trio were arrested by the Hawks when they went back to the Malawian to collect an outstanding balance of the bribe”, she concluded.
Last year, Department of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba launched operation Bvisa Masina, a Venda phrase which means “throw out the rot”, in an effort to rid the department’s corrupt officials.