Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi welcomes the interception of 67 Pakistani nationals at the OR Tambo International Airport who wanted to enter the country without complying with the immigration laws of the country.

These Pakistanis were denied entry into South Africa in the early hours of today, 13 August 2023, after they failed the immigration test, which included questions how long their visas entitled them to be in the country. They have been sent back to Pakistan – at their own cost.

“This is a result of a sting operation that was put together after observing certain trends that were suspicious and did not make sense. They were interviewed by Immigration Officers and they were asked about where they going and about the purpose of being in South Africa and where they were going to stay given that they were coming here for the first time. They provided conflicting evidence like giving names of non-existent hotels, names of alleged relatives, some of whom did not even exist,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

The 67 Pakistanis with questionable visas were in a flight of 268 passengers that departed for South Africa from Dubai. A team comprising of the Department of Home Affairs Counter Corruption Branch, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), State Security Agency and the Border Management Authority (BMA) was put together to conduct the sting.

“Essentially, these people wanted to come to South Africa but were unable to explain where they were going and for what reason. There is no other way. They have to return to their home country. We can’t allow such people to enter the country,” said Minister Motsoaledi.

Minister Motsoaledi said some hotels have complained that there is an increase in the number of Pakistanis who book accommodation and then end up not showing up. This means that the hotels lose money with these dubious bookings and also on other potential visitors who are unable to book because the hotels are supposed to be full.

He said the Department will be more vigilant than ever before.

“We are extremely worried by this new trend and we have noticed that the newly acquired eVisa system, which is meant to facilitate easier entry into the country by tourists, is being seriously abused by some nationals. We will never allow this,” said Minister Motsoaledi.


Media Enquiries:

Siya Qoza, 082 898 1657 (Spokesperson for the Minister of Home Affairs)

David Hlabane, ‪071 342 4284 (Media Manager: Department of Home Affairs)