Krugersdorp Passport Fraud Syndicate Must be Denied Bail

On Friday April 8th, 2022, I together with senior members of ActionSA as well as our activists will attend the court appearance of the members of the alleged passport fraud syndicate that includes Pakistani foreign nationals as well as allegedly corrupt South African Home Affairs officials at the Krugersdorp Magistrates Court.

The suspects are facing multiple charges of corruption, being in possession of suspected fraudulent documents and contravening the Immigration Act.

Two weeks ago, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs together with a multidisciplinary joint operation team encompassing the Department of Home Affairs and the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit, swooped in on a passport fraud syndicate at their operations in Krugersdorp.

While we acknowledge that every arrested person is entitled to receive bail, ActionSA implores our criminal justice system to deny these individuals bail on the basis that they be considered a flight risk.

A perfectly legal and constitutionally valid reason for the courts to take that posture.

The syndicate, said to be operating nationwide barring just two provinces, Free State and Northern Cape is allegedly being led by a Pakistani foreign national who has been bribing corrupt Home Affairs officials to ensure that his operation runs without a glitch. The sad part about this entire saga is that South African nationals, many of whom may be buckling under the pressures of extreme poverty and joblessness were said to have been participating in the scheme by selling their identities for a mere R500.

Clearly, President Ramaphosa’s ANC government’s R350 grant does little to alleviate this problem.

South Africa, let me be clear, it is not mine, nor ActionSA’s intention to exonerate criminality under any circumstances. As an organisation founded on seven non-negotiable core values, one of which is to the restoration and adherence to the rule of law, there is no way that we can justify criminality no matter the motivations, albethey justifiable.

Nor is it for us to mislead the public by painting a picture that seeks to create the impression that South Africans are inherently good and foreign nationals, particularly those who are here illegally be presumed inherently bad.

The facts prove the contrary.

When I first pronounced my stance on illegal immigration during my time as the Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg in 2016, I was ridiculed as a xenophobic and inexperienced politician who was attempting to gain wide political support at the expense of foreign nationals residing in the City. Regardless of the number of times I tried to clarify the point that allowing foreign nationals to gain access into our country illegally, operate illegal businesses that often means procuring expired goods and selling them to our vulnerable communities was to flout the rule of law and promote illegality.

Today, countless political parties and social movement formations alike have since climbed on what is now a politically fashionable bandwagon of late. Some have even elected to pretend the issue had always been part of their political agendas. Nevertheless, South Africans are not fools. They know who is for them and who is not.

Ultimately, we must never allow is a situation where our people lose all hope in the institutions of state mandated to protect the citizens of this country to the point where we take the law into our own hands. To do so can only bring us chaos of epic proportions.

Dr Motsoaledi’s efforts to clamp down on those who have made it their business to undermine the laws of our country is exemplary of a public servant who is commitment to putting the interests of the people of South Africa above his own political party’s interests.

I believe I speak not only for ActionSA but for all law-abiding and peace-loving citizens of our country when I say that we fully support the actions of the honourable Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.