WATCH: SIU raids home affairs offices across SA following claims of corruption at refugee centres

Published May 17, 2024


The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Friday morning conducted raids at refugee centres across the country, after whistleblowers lifted the lid on a fraud racket in which foreign nationals were granted asylum and refugee documents to enter South Africa.

Along with teams from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks), SIU officers seized cellphones and computer equipment from refugee centres in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Limpopo and Gauteng.

Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who was present at the raid, said there were still investigations as to how long the corruption had been going on.

Motsoaledi declined to comment further on the allegations made and information supplied by the whistleblowers.

Cellphones seized during the raid. Picture: SIU

Picture: SIU

He explained that those implicated in the crimes had been contravening a number of the country's immigration laws.

He said that there were people who did not qualify to be in the country but were given entry to South Africa.

Motsoaledi said the foreign nationals who arrived in SA did not have the correct documentation when they arrived at the SA border.

SIU head, Advocate Lekgoa Mothibi, said the unit has been working closely with the department’s anti-corruption unit.

He added that the whistleblowers played a key role in the investigation.

“We are doing all we can to ensure that these whistleblowers are safe. We will continue to ensure that they are safe,” he said.

Mothibi could not, at this stage, confirm the number of documents or Visas seized.

The SIU was granted a search warrant by the Special Tribunal, a judicial platform established to adjudicate on matters emanating from SIU investigations, on May 10.

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