The Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that five officials have been internally charged and are facing disciplinary processes for their role in how now-fugitive prophet Shepherd Bushiri acquired his permanent residence permit in South Africa
Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told Parliament's Home Affairs portfolio committee on Tuesday that due to sensitivity of the case, but he wouldn't go into details.
I just want to confirm that, Yes, we do have that high-powered case that is on, that involve Bushiri but it does not involve how he escaped the country. That one is the purview of the Hawks, the SAPS, Crime intelligence and State security", he said
He added that at the centre of the Home Affairs' investigation was how Bushiri initially got his documents to become a permanent resident of the country.
Motsoaledi dismissed madia claims that says Bushiri had captured his department
The City Press reported last month that Bushiri had effectively captured the department of Home Affairs and that he had several of its directors l, clerks and even an MP acting in Unison to circumvent the law and smooth the way for him.
The newspaper said it had uncovered evidence of how some senior individuals jumped through hoops to secure permanent residence permit for fraud accused Bushiri, his wife Mary and their two young children.
I want to tell you straight that Bushiri did not capture Home Affairs", he said.
Motsoaledi said there were individuals who collaborated with Bushiri and that five implicated officials have been suspended.
He said one of five individuals had taken the department to the labour court twice, but lost his cases.
We are busy with the DC (disciplinary) and we are waiting for the Law-enforcement agencies to play their role because the DC is an internal process where we take you for a disciplinary hearing but there will also be a criminal element which will have to be dealt with by the other Law-enforcement agencies", he added
Motsoaledi indicated that the department was experiencing problems in getting to the bottom of why the officials collaborated with the church leader and suggested that banks were not willing to share financial information.
When officials were found to have given Bushiri documents fraudulently, which we definitely have found to have be the case what was the reward, is there a financial reward, or were they just doing it for love of Bushiri? Or werethey paid huge amounts of money- I'm saying by him.
He said one has to go to the financial intelligence centre and phone banks and "the banks, I can assure you, while publicly they tell us how they hate corruption' they will give you a tough time when you want information about clients", he said
They will tell you about client would run from them. Those are the intricacies which we are faced with when we deal with these cases", said Motsoaledi
Bushiri skipped bail last November and fled to Malawi with his wife, claiming in a statement posted on Facebook they had to preserve their lives after local authorities failed to act several Alleged death threats they had received. They were facing a court case in which they were to answer to allegations of Fraud, theft and money laundering involving R102m
Motsoaledi said after realising what happened in the Bushiri case, the ant-corruption unit in his department disclosed that issues of immigration, especially permitting constituted about 66% or two-thirds of all the work that they are engaged with.
He said it was with this background in minds and having taken the Bushiri case into considerations that they decided to establish a team, headed by the former presidency director-general Cassius Lubisi, to investigate all the permits that thedepartment has issued since 2004.
Motsoaledi said the investigation was looking into all permanent- residency permits, corporate permits especially in the mining sector, study visa, business visas, retirement visas, and everything that is in q form of a permits that was issuedby the department since 2004
They specifically chose 2004 because that is the year in which the immigration Act of 2002 came into effect
This did not mean they would ignore information of wrong doing preceding 2004 if that commission
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