Free State cops, border post officials found guilty of demanding bribes from foreigners

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  • Free State immigration officials and police officers have been convicted of corruption and fraud at the Caledonspoort border post.
  • They were found to have taken bribes from Lesotho nationals who wanted to get into the country, but did not have proper documents.
  • Both the cops and home affairs officials were fired.

Police officers and Department of Home Affairs officials who worked at Caledonspoort Border Post in the Free State have been fined for demanding bribes from Lesotho nationals who did not have legal documents to be in South Africa. 

David Malefetsane Mofokeng, 54, Kagisho Kgomotso Sempe, 36, Joseph Nthoroane Masilo, 54, Kelebogile Mokhuoa, 37, Ntando David Radebe, 39, Jabulani Edward Simela, 38, Mojalefa France Ranthama, 38 and Kgotso Richard Dlamini, 53, appeared before the Bethlehem Commercial Crime Court on Friday where they were convicted and sentenced for fraud and corruption.

Mofokeng, Sempe and Masilo were employed by home affairs at the time of the crimes, while Mokhuoa, Radebe, Simela and Ranthama were members of the South African Police Service. Dlamini, who was also convicted, was a security guard.

According to the Free State Hawks spokesperson Captain Christopher Singo, the group's conviction stems from information police received in 2012 about fraudulent activities at the border post.

READ | Three cops lose challenge to their dismissal after they were arrested for corruption

Singo said allegations were that police officers and immigration officials from the home affairs department, as well as a member of Port Health stationed at the border gate, were demanding bribes from Lesotho nationals who did not have legal documents to be in South Africa.

"Gratification ranging between R150 and R200 will then be paid to the officials, and [they] then allow illegal movements between the two countries. Investigation conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team based in Bloemfontein culminated in the arrests in May 2013."

On Friday, Sempe was fined R55 000 or five years imprisonment and Dlamini was fined R30 000 or five years imprisonment.

The other accused were all fined R45 000 or five years imprisonment.

Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said Mokhuoa, Radebe, Simela and Ranthama were "long expelled" from the SAPS.

Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qiza confirmed that one person had been dismissed in March 2014 and another in July 2014, following disciplinary processes.

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