The Department of Home Affairs says it is aware that there are incidents of corruption and fraudulent activities at the Marabastad Refugee Reception Office in Pretoria, and that it is doing everything in its power to root this out.
The department on Thursday responded to reports of alleged corrupt practices at the centre where foreign nationals apply for documentation and asylum seeker visas.
“While we acknowledge the existence of pockets of corruption and fraudulent activities at the centre, we wish to reiterate the department’s commitment towards the fight against these practices.
“Accordingly, it is our firm belief that these acts by a few unscrupulous individuals play a significant role in undermining the department’s efforts to render an exceptional and efficient service towards its clients,” said the department.
It said it will continue to work with various law enforcement agencies and other government departments to combat the scourge of corruption.
The department said it has strengthened the Counter-Corruption Unit to enable it to prevent, detect and reduce instances of corruption to prevent such acts from occurring.
The Marabastad Refugee Reception Office has been identified as one of the areas of concern due to continuous reports concerning fraud and corruption activities.
The department said it has issued a stern warning to officials and continues to conduct lifestyle audits to determine if the standard of living of an employee is commensurate with that person’s known income stream.
Over the past two years, 30 officials have been dismissed for various offences in line with the departmental disciplinary code.
The department urged foreign nationals to “resists all bribery attempts in order to receive favourable treatment”, as all asylum seeker services are offered free of charge by the department.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has given a directive to Director-General Mkuseli Apleni to act against any official found to have wittingly participated in acts of fraud and corruption.
“The Department of Home Affairs finds itself at the nexus of three critical and inter-related issues namely national security, administration and service delivery.
“We have to fulfil these three obligations in an equal manner. Those who do not uphold these obligations will find it difficult to co-exist with us within the Department of Home Affairs. Similarly, those who commit transgressions based on corruption will be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said Minister Gigaba. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za