27 August 2020

The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, applauded law enforcement officials who interrupted the alleged illegal activities of three Home Affairs officials and their external partners who were involved in issuing fraudulent identity documents. These officials were arrested in two separate operations in Emalahleni and in Pretoria.

In one operation, Mr Edwell Muntu Monareng, a mobile operator from the Emalahleni Home Affairs Office in Mpumalanga, was arrested by the HAWKS yesterday and appeared in court today for corruption. He was arrested in a sting operation involving the HAWKS, SAPS Crime Intelligence and the Department of Home Affairs Counter Corruption. He was arrested for paying a bribe of R13 000 to a Home Affairs Counter Corruption officer who was investigating him for birth certificate fraud. The bribe was to make the fraud charge disappear. The Counter Corruption officers reported the attempted bribe and a sting operation was arranged to arrest Mr Monareng when he paid the bribe.

Mr Monareng was being investigated by a Home Affairs Counter Corruption official for fraudulently registering a Pakistani national and issuing him with a birth certificate. Mr Monareng became a focus of the investigation after a member of the South African Police Service based at the King Shaka International Airport questioned a Pakistani national who was preparing to travel on a South African passport. The Pakistani national looked older than the age recorded in the fraudulent passport. Upon further investigation, they found his Pakistani passport with a different date of birth and surname. The Pakistani national was arrested and charged with possession of a fraudulent SA passport and for contravention of the Immigration Act. The police also referred the matter to Home Affairs Counter Corruption.

Using technology-enabled security features built into the system, an internal Home Affairs investigation established that Mr Monareng had registered the Pakistani’s birth and issued a birth certificate. This birth certificate was later used to apply for the passport at the Empangeni Home Affairs office in KwaZulu-Natal.

The investigation into the activities of Mr Monareng also flagged another 131 transactions which are suspected to be fraudulent which were completed by Mr Monareng between April 2018 and January 2019.

The Department is continuing with the investigation into the 131 suspected cases and will be initiating a disciplinary process against Mr Monareng.

Mr Monareng appeared in court today and was released on a R3 000 bail. He is scheduled to reappear in court on 09 October 2020.

In a separate operation, law enforcement arrested Mr Chinas Mohlolo, a former Home Affairs Supervisor who left the Department in 30 September 2019, Mr Percy Mabena, an Administrative Officer at the Home Affairs office in Pretoria and two Zimbabwean nationals Thubelihle Nyathi and Khumbulani Moyo.

The Home Affairs Counter Corruption unit initiated an investigation after an official reported to them that Mr Mohlolo had demanded the login details of the junior official. He proceeded to change the records of Mr Moyo to Mr Callos Mazibuko with a South African ID. After Mr Moyo was arrested, he identified Mr Nyathi, who is not a Home Affairs official, as the person who introduced him to Mr Mabena. It is alleged that the Mr Mabena liaised with Mr Mohlolo to have the records of Mr Moyo fraudulently altered.

The Department is investigating transactions linked to both Messrs Mabena and Mohlolo. In addition, disciplinary processes are being initiated against Mr Mabena.

All four accused appeared at Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on fraud and corruption charges. They will face additional charges of contravening the Immigration Act, Identity Act and the Birth, Death Registration Act.

Mr Mabena and Mr Mohlolo were granted bail for the amount of R2 000. Mr Nyathi and Mr Moyo were not granted bail and they remain in custody.

They are scheduled to appear at the same court on 07 September 2020.

“I am encouraged that there are officials at Home Affairs and in the police who reported and acted swiftly to root out corruption. We will continue to monitor all reported cases to ensure that perpetrators and beneficiaries of fraudulent activities are brought to justice and sent to jail where they belong,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

“We are clearly benefitting from introducing technology based security features in our processes. It is only when people report suspected wrongdoing that we will turn the tide against maladministration, fraud and corruption. I continue to support the efforts of law enforcement agencies in ensuring that all forms of maladministration are rooted out of the Department of Home Affairs,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

Minister Motsoaledi encouraged South Africans to ensure that their children are registered within 30 days of birth.

The Minister encouraged anyone who may have information about corrupt or any other criminal activities to contact the SA Police Service or the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Department.

People with information can contact the National Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 701 701 and the Home Affairs Counter Corruption Unit on 012 406 4318.

Siya Qoza, ‪082 898 1657 (spokesperson for the Minister of Home Affairs)
David Hlabane, ‪071 342 4284 (media manager for the Department of Home Affairs)