Home affairs facing fraud crisis

2009-07-07 07:30

Cape Town - Nearly 400 officials have been sacked for graft since 2007 in the home affairs department where a battle against the issuing of false documents has affected those travelling abroad.

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Monday that 95 officials had been dismissed in the last three months alone for corrupt activities.

In a parliamentary reply to questions from the Democratic Alliance, the minister said the dismissals were from 784 complaints received between 2006 and 2008.

"A total of 186 officials were dismissed, and 86 have had sanctions imposed as a result of corrupt activities for 2007/08 financial year. In the 2008/9 financial year, 107 officials were dismissed, and 41 have had sanctions imposed as a result of corrupt activities," the minister said.

"As from 1 April 2009, until 11 June 2009, there have been 95 officials dismissed, due to their corrupt activities."

Sanctioned officials get final warning

The minister's spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said those who had sanctions placed against them had received a final warning.

Delivering a speech in parliament last week, Dlamini-Zuma admitted to huge challenges faced by the department, whose lax security led Britain to impose a visa requirement on all South Africans.

"The major issue of concern was the ease with which non-South African nationals could obtain South African passports," said local embassy spokesperson Russ Dixon in February.

Dlamini-Zuma said: "We have to act, and act decisively, to rid our department of this scourge. Fighting corruption will require the mobilisation of our nation."

"For us to succeed, we require a very strong hard working and honest team," she said, adding there were many posts that needed to be filled, a process hampered by economic constraints.