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Deadline set for Motsoaledi on review of permits, visas report

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is being urged by MPs to deliver a report by his department on the review of visas and permits issued as far back as 2004. Picture: Jacques Naudé/African news Agency (ANA)

Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is being urged by MPs to deliver a report by his department on the review of visas and permits issued as far back as 2004. Picture: Jacques Naudé/African news Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 28, 2022

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Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi is being urged by MPs to deliver a report by his department on the review of visas and permits issued as far back as 2004. Picture: Jacques Naudé/African news Agency (ANA)

PARLIAMENT gave the Home Affairs Department on Tuesday until next Friday to make a presentation on its review of permits and visas that were issued since 2004.

This comes after the task team appointed to undertake the review was not available to attend the meeting of the portfolio committee on home affairs.

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In March, 2021 Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced a five-member task team led by former government director-general Dr Cassius Lubisi in March, 2021 following a trend where prominent people were investigated by the department’s counter-corruption unit.

Motsoaledi said at the time the unit had over the years established that nearly two out of every three reported cases involved permitting.

DA MP Adrian Roos said the report was supposed to have been presented three months ago only to be postponed and leeway was given at the last meeting due to Motsoaledi having an engagement, on condition the report was presented before the end of the last term ending mid-June.

“I am very annoyed about this. I think it is critical, and there were some big moves made a few weeks ago and people are asking what is going on,” Roos said.

“It looks very strange because we have had reports before where certain officials were not necessarily there, and the minister carried on and delivered it,” he said.

ANC MP Tidimalo Legwase said if there was no possibility of getting the report on Tuesday, the department and Motsoaledi should make time to present the report.

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“Timelines (should) be given to the minister… That we as the committee want on this (particular) day to discuss the report,” Legwase said.

DA MP Angel Khanyile suggested that the report be presented when the committee holds its meeting next week.

“This matter has been long overdue. It was supposed to be discussed in March already,” Khanyile said.

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IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe said people on social media were asking why the report was not released.

“I would really like to appeal that we cannot continue to kick the can down the road… I would like to get the comfort that the report is ready and it's only the task team that is not available,” Van der Merwe said.

She too suggested that the deliberations on the report be set for next week.

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“We have been waiting for it for too long,” Van der Merwe added.

ANC MP Brandon Pillay noted that Motsoaledi might not answer some of the questions arising from the report, if it was presented in the absence of the task team.

“Can we get an indication as to when it is to come before us? And we don’t want to put any item on the agenda,” Pillay said.

His colleague Moleboheng Modise said: “It requires us to give it special attention. One must really say it is long overdue.”

Motsoaledi said he was as anxious as the MPs for the report to come out. He confirmed that the report was ready.

“There is no other reason that we are delaying it, except that this was an investigative report by investigators,” he said.

“It would be remiss of me to try to make myself an investigator. The people who are not here are not the officials of the department,” Motsoaledi said.

Committee chairperson Mosa Chabane said he too agreed that the report was long overdue. “It is an important subject that affects the country,” he said.

After checking the committee’s schedule, Chabane decided the report would be presented on July 8.

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