Home affairs blasts fake reports

2011-06-15 14:24

The alleged South African passport held by the dead al-Qaeda head in Joburg is fake, said Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni.

Referring to media coverage following the assassination of Fazul Abdullah Muhammad, the alleged head of al-Qaeda in East Africa, Apleni told media his department was seriously concerned about reports that Muhammad had been carrying a South African passport.

His department, he said, launched a “thorough investigation” into the matter, in collaboration with relevant law enforcement agencies. This included co-operation with South Africa’s diplomatic mission in Kenya.

Following receipt of the copy of the passport allegedly used by Fazul, “an extensive search was conducted on our National Population Register to check on the ID number on the passport as well as the Movement Control System to determine when the deceased would have entered and/or left South Africa as was suggested in media reports”.

Investigations, said Apleni, “have revealed without equivocation that the passport was not an authentic South African passport but a fake”.

The passport was not issued by any lawful South African authority charged with the responsibility for the issuance of passports.

And no correlation existed between the ID number appearing on the fake passport and the fake passport number.

The South African Movement Control System, he added, had no record of any movement in or out of the country at any of our ports of entry by Fazul using the fake passport.

Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma welcomed the report and said she hoped that “the outcome will lay the issue of the security of South African documents to rest”.

The thorough investigation into the matter, she said, communicated a positive message that the systems that the government has put in place in the period leading to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, were “effective and efficient and will continue to assist the country in its efforts to push back the frontiers of fraud and corruption”.

The Department of Home Affairs, she added, will continue to strengthen its collaboration with other law enforcement agencies to protect the integrity of South Africa’s documents “to ensure no one is able to use them for nefarious activities at home and abroad”.

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