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Corruption-accused former Mpumalanga HOD loses in court

THE North Gauteng High Court building in Pretoria

THE North Gauteng High Court building in Pretoria

Published May 26, 2022


Johannesburg - A corruption-accused former senior government official in trouble after being busted for obtaining South African citizenship via fraud and misrepresentation, has lost his case against Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

Former head of the Mpumalanga Human Settlements Department Kebone Masange had asked the North Gauteng High Court to force Motsoaledi to produce documents referred to in their (Motsoaledi and Home Affairs director-general Tommy Makhode’s) answering affidavit.

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THE North Gauteng High Court building in Pretoria

Motsoaledi and Makhode accused Masange of bringing his interlocutory application as a delaying tactic to delay the adjudication of his main application, in which he is challenging the lawfulness of his arrest and subsequent detention.

An interlocutory application is one that is filed pending the adjudication of the main case.

Masange denied that his interlocutory application was a delaying tactic and Acting Judge Ntombizanele Ndlovokane found that the department complied with his request.

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On Monday, Judge Ndlovokane dismissed Masange’s application, saying he failed to make a case for the relief he sought.

Masange’s woes started after his arrest by an immigration officer in September 2020 following an investigation which revealed that he was in possession of South African citizenship obtained through fraud and misrepresentation.

However, he maintains that he is a lawful South African citizen.

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Home Affairs is insisting that he became a South African citizen after a misrepresentation he made to its officials and that he is an illegal foreigner and a prohibited person from the country.

Home Affairs established that Masange applied for South African identity document(s) or status on no less than three occasions and in all the applications he submitted details of three different people whom he claims to be his mother(s).

According to the department, he claimed to have been born in four different places – Zimbabwe, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Brits.

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Masange said did not accept all the identity documents issued to him by Home A ffairs officials as they reflected incorrect information.

Masange is accused of trying to bribe one-time acting Mpumalanga director of public prosecutions Matric Luphondo with an 18-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich Whisky, valued at R1 550 and R5 000 in cash to make his (Masange’s) charges of fraud, possession of fraudulent documents and contravening the Immigration Act disappear.

Masange had earlier tried to bribe late Hawks officer Lieutenant-Colonel Ayanda Plaatjie, who allegedly received R28 000 in cash out of a promised R100 000.

The R33 000 has since been forfeited to the State after National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi obtained a preservation of property order in terms of section 38 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act at the North Gauteng High Court in November.

Masange and Luphondo were due back at the North Gauteng High Court on Monday but National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana could not confirm whether or not the criminal trial proceeded as set down.

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