Home Affairs to oppose Masange’s release

Home Affairs Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi has welcomed the arrest of the Mpumalanga Human Settlements Head of Department, Keboni Masange, while also announcing that the department will oppose his release.

Motsoaledi welcomed Masange’s arrest last week following a probe to verify his status in the country.

Masange, 51, was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) and Home Affairs immigration officials last week.

He contravened the law by acquiring three ID documents through misrepresentation. He appeared in court on Thursday and was released on a warning.

In a statement on Friday, the department said it will file papers opposing Masange’s release. The matter is scheduled to be heard on 2 November 2020.

“The department will place all the relevant facts before the court and is confident of the prospects of success.”

An in-depth investigation by the department revealed that Masange first entered South Africa on 19 October 1995, using a Zimbabwean passport, which he used until 1998.

In June 1996, a few months after entering South Africa, Masange applied for an identity document through misrepresenting certain material facts.

In November 1996, he submitted an application for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) exemption, and his application was approved.

He was issued with a certificate in May 1997 and this approval, according to the department, was irregular because “Masange did not meet the qualifying criteria for the exemption”.

A few days before being issued with the certificate of exemption, Masange applied for a second South African identity document and again, he misrepresented certain material facts.

“After receiving the exemption certificate, Masange again applied for the third and current identity document as an exempted foreigner from Zimbabwe. The department has revoked all enabling documents issued to him and as such, he is a prohibited person in terms of the immigration laws,” the department said.

Motsoaledi has also launched an immediate investigation into the granting of an exemption to Masange and the issuing of the multiple IDs.

“Any official of the Department of Home Affairs involved in wrong-doing related to this matter will be brought to book,” Motsoaledi warned.

Rand West City Municipality manager arrested

The Minister has also welcomed the arrest of Zivanai Katikiti, a manager for financial control and reporting at the Rand West City Municipality in Gauteng.

Katikiti was arrested by Home Affairs immigration officials last week Thursday for contravening immigration laws in several respects.

According to Home Affairs’ records, Katikiti entered South Africa in May 2015. However, there is no record of him having applied for a work or residence permit in the department’s database.

Katikiti was investigated after the Department of Home Affairs received a media query from The Sowetan newspaper.

Motsoaledi has launched an investigation into the origins of the documents.  The investigation will also cover Katikiti’s employment with the Rand West City Municipality.

Motsoaledi has expressed the department’s appreciation to the members of the public and the media for the information received.

“This enhances the work we are doing to root out maladministration and corruption within the department. A partnership between the State and citizens is one of the most efficient tools we have to fight corruption and wrong-doing,” the Minister said.

Motsoaledi said the internal investigation needs to be completed urgently to ensure that rogue elements within the Department of Home Affairs are dealt with, and made to account. – SAnews.gov.za

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