'Arrest them!' shout bystanders as Hawks raid home affairs office

2016-09-29 18:09
Home Affairs and the Hawks arrest officials at Maseru Bridge port of entry. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

Home Affairs and the Hawks arrest officials at Maseru Bridge port of entry. (Jeanette Chabalala, News24)

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Maseru Bridge - The Hawks raided home affairs offices at a border post with Lesotho on Thursday, arresting more than 10 officials for taking bribes of up to R2 000 each.

In a joint operation with the Department of Home Affairs the Hawks stormed into the offices at Maseru Bridge with onlookers shouting "arrest them!"

"This message is very clear. It is either you shape up or you ship out. If you want to work then work with diligence," said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi from the scene.

The Hawks were planning to make more arrests later in the day. About 20 officials were believed to be involved in the crimes; ten of them were at the office during the raid.

109 arrested so far

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told reporters that the department had decided to work with the Hawks to "set a trap" for all the officials involved.

The officials allegedly stamped expired passports for amounts ranging from R150 up to R2 000. They also stand accused of stamping passports that were dropped off at the offices by taxis.

Gigaba said 109 officials had been arrested so far this year. 

"We are quite happy with the progress. While I am happy with the arrests, I am also disheartened by the fact that we have quite a number of officials who have been arrested," he said.

Six civilians were also arrested in connection with the same matter on Wednesday.

Read more on:    hawks  |  bloemfontein  |  crime

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