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Drastic measures have helped curb corruption at OR Tambo International Airport, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday.
“There was a lot of corruption there. People were coming in (to South Africa) without visas, who should have visas, and there were even things like ghost travellers,” she told a business briefing in Sandton.
“Where people have come into South Africa and when it is time for them to leave, the immigration officer takes their passport and scans it through the machine, but they don't leave.”
Dlamini-Zuma said her department had removed the old home affairs team tasked at the airport and had replaced it with a new one from the military.
“Not all of them were corrupt, but enough of them were corrupt… The ones that remained, we took them through a course for a year,” she said.
Dlamini-Zuma said the difference was evident in statistics on the number of people turned back while trying to enter the country.
“Some of them still think it is the old system. They come hoping that they will get through and they don't.”
The new system would be expanded to other airports and ports of entry, she said.
Dlamini-Zuma said there was no place for corruption in her department,
“Where there is corruption, we try and deal with it swiftly so that people know there is no place for corruption,” she said.
“But what has helped us a lot; we have worked with the public. Even in terms of improving service delivery... Because of that we have had a lot of success even with corruption.” – Sapa