Motsoaledi ropes in SIU to probe CFO over ‘forged’ permit

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Oupa Mokoena / Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 18, 2024


Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has warned “crocodiles” who enter South Africa clad in suits carrying briefcases with cash to bribe officials to legalise their stay in the country, that their days were numbered.

This as the minister has requested the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate how a Zimbabwean national with a fraudulent residence permit got employment as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at a North West government entity.

Motsoaledi described Kudakwashe Mpofu’s matter as a national embarrassment, during a media briefing on Sunday over visa and immigration matters.

According to the minister, Mpofu, who is fighting through courts not to be deported, was informed as far back as June 23 last year over the issue pertaining to his residence permit.

“Kudakwashe Mpofu’s Permanent Residence Permit is fraudulent, was not issued by the Department of Home Affairs and we do not know where he obtained it from. We can confirm that the Permanent Residence Permit reference number appearing on Mr Mpofu’s document does not exist in our system and we can further confirm that the control number appearing on Mr Mpofu’s purported document was not issued by the department to him but rather it was legitimately issued to somebody else.

“As to how Mr Mpofu came across that control number, we do not know.

It is not possible in our system for the same control number to be used more than once, as these are face value documents printed by the Government Printing Works (GPW). It is a matter of national embarrassment that Mr Mpofu was able to obtain employment as CFO at the North West Development Corporation handling public funds,” he said.

Mpofu has since been suspended from the position and Motsoaledi requested that the SIU not only probe him but officials at Home Affairs and at the North West entity who dealt with Mpofu’s matter.

“We are going to concentrate our energies and resources on the crocodiles. I wish to enthusiastically tell you today that with the work of the Lubisi team, multi-disciplinary team and SIU, the days of the crocodiles like Mpofu are numbered,” he added.

Motsoaledi also used the time to address accusations of chasing away tourists from the country following a controversial internal circular that was issued by the department on December 21 last year over visa renewal.

He said the circular was directed to the Border Management Authority (BMA) commissioner, managers of ports of entry, provincial Inspectorate and Visa facilitation centres as a guide on what to do when they encounter nationals of other countries falling within particular categories at the borders.

This includes individuals who have applied for visa extensions, waivers or appeals and have not yet received their outcomes negative or positive.

“It was a very unfortunate circular that should not have been issued because matters it was trying to clarify could have easily been addressed in the normal course of operations. We arrived at the conclusion that if indeed the circular had the effect of chasing tourists out of the country, we needed to find a way to resolve that. Hence, we needed to check at the borders if there was a significant spike of people who had visited South Africa as tourists and are leaving.

“If there was such a spike, we wanted to act in mitigation,” said Motsoaledi.

He said Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille revealed that only one case was referred to her department and the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of the individual concerned.

The Cape Town International Airport also identified five people who encountered problems because they were declared undesirable due to their overstay in the country but officials were also instructed to lift the undesirability status.

The minister explained that when one applies for the extension of their visa before it expires, they are given a receipt.

Cape Times