Media statement on alleged corrupt practices at Marabastad Refugee Reception Office
The Department of Home Affairs has taken note of reports of alleged corrupt practices at the Marabastad Refugee Reception Office in Pretoria 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.
In this regard, the Department of Home Affairs continues to work together with various law enforcement agencies and other government departments to combat the scourge of corruption. Internally, we have strengthened the Counter-Corruption Unit to enable it to prevent, detect and reduce instances of corruption with a view to deterring 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 has issued a stern warning to officials and continues to undertake 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. Equally, we call on 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.
Minister Malusi Gigaba has given a directive to Director-General Mkuseli Apleni to act decisively against any official found to have wittingly participated in acts of fraud and corruption.
Said Minister Gigaba: “The Department of Home Affairs finds itself at the nexus of three critical and inter-related issues namely; national security, administration and national security. We have to fulfill 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.”
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS