Top public servant arrested for being an 'illegal immigrant' in SA

The official was detained by immigration officials at Pretoria central station on Tuesday.
The official was detained by immigration officials at Pretoria central station on Tuesday.
Image: 123RF/Olga Yastremska

A senior government official in Mpumalanga has been arrested for allegedly being in the country illegally and in possession of fraudulently obtained identity documents.

He was detained by immigration officials at Pretoria central station on Tuesday after being questioned about how he obtained his South African citizenship.

A senior official close to the matter said the man, who claimed to have been born in Brits in North West, had entered SA from Zimbabwe in the mid-90s.

The source said it was embarrassing. “When you employ senior public officials you don’t vet their qualifications only, you also vet their identification to see that they are who they claim to be ... And here he is occupying [a] senior position in the public service ... handling quite sensitive information.”

The official was asked to present himself at home affairs’ head office and then arrested. “He will probably appear in the Pretoria magistrate’s court [on Thursday].”

Home affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza confirmed that the man was arrested by immigration officials on Tuesday.

“I can confirm that the gentleman in question has been arrested [in connection with immigration] laws. But we will supply more details as and when they become available.”


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