Andrew Kelly/Illustration/Reuters
Andrew Kelly/Illustration/Reuters

Immigration officer allegedly demanded R2 000 bribe from illegal immigrants

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jun 16, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – An immigration officer from the Eastern Cape faces charges of extortion after he allegedly demanded a bribe from illegal immigrants following their arrest.

In a statement released yesterday, Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said Lwandiswa Kolanisi, 40, stationed at the East London Home Affairs offices appeared in the Mdantsane Magistrate’s Court.

She said it is alleged that on October 22, 2020, three illegal immigrants were arrested during a joint operation between the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in and around the Mdantsane area outside East London.

Mgolodela said Kolanisi allegedly demanded a bribe of R2 000 from each of the arrested suspects in order to release them as they were being processed as detainees.

She said that a total of R6 000 is alleged to have been paid to the officer in cash and on the same day the suspects were released and that the release was unlawful.

Mgolodela said the matter was reported to the police and was later handed over to the Hawks’ East London Serious Corruption Investigation team for further investigation.

Kolanisi was subsequently arrested on April 9 and the matter against the immigration officer has since been moved to the regional court.

A trial date has been set for June 22.

In a separate incident on Monday, a married couple were sentenced in the East London Magistrate’s Court on charges of dealing in drugs.

Brenda, 62, and her husband, Basil van Heerden, 61, were arrested after three successful purchases of cannabis were made at their Chiselhurst home in East London.

Upon searching the residence officer also confiscated 899g of cannabis which was found to be packed and ready for sale.

The pair were sentenced to pay a fine of R15 000 each or serve five years imprisonment.

They were also sentenced to five years imprisonment which was suspended for five years provided they are not convicted for the same offence during the suspension period.

The court declared the couple unfit to possess a firearm.

African News Agency (ANA)

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