Department of Home Affairs official held for bribery
Share this article:
Pretoria - The police’s swift response to a suspected case of extortion on Saturday has led to the arrest of a Department of Home Affairs official for bribery.
The official allegedly demanded a bribe of R250 000 for processing a citizenship application from 37-year-old Boitumelo Anna Kope.
Kope is employed by the department in Pretoria as a call centre agent, and she was nabbed together with her accomplice taxi operators Wilson Modike Mohale, 25, and Sibusiso Jones Tshabalala, 32, at Bloed Mall.
Police said the suspects were apprehended by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation after they were alerted to a suspected extortion incident involving a Home Affairs official.
The official allegedly “demanded R250 000 from the complainant claiming that she will rectify the alleged fraudulent document for the smooth and quicker citizenship application process", police said.
Kope, together with her other two accomplices, was caught in possession of the R15 000 entrapment cash and charged for corruption and extortion.
All the accused appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday, and the court provisionally withdrew the charges against Mohale and Tshabalala, pending an investigation.
Kope was, however, remanded into custody until Monday, when she is expected to apply for bail.
The Hawks provincial head in Gauteng, Major-General Ebrahim Kadwa, commended the investigation team for their immediate response and urged the public to report such criminality to authorities for further investigation.