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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Four foreign nationals and South African found guilty of corruption

The foreign nationals fraudulently replaced the owners' photos with theirs and assumed the names of the South African citizens.


Four foreign nationals and a South African citizen have been found guilty of corruption after fraudulently using South African citizens’ identity documents and biometrics to obtain South African passports for foreign nationals.

Police said Congolese nationals, 25-year-old Tausi Majani Kahwere and 44-year-old John Majani Kahwere, were convicted by the Durban Magistrate’s Court this week.

Spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said three other accused, Bangladeshi nationals, 25-year-old Morshed Alam and 43-year-old Saiful Islam Sujon, and 42-year-old Oliver Whendle Hurriparsad, a South African national, were found guilty following a lengthy investigation by the National Serious Corruption Investigation in collaboration with Department of Home Affairs’ Counter Corruption in KZN, which resulted in a lengthy trial.

Arrest

Mogale said all the accused pleaded guilty. 

“The foreign nationals were arrested between 2021 and 2023 as they were boarding flights to different destinations, already gone through the airport processes. They were found guilty of all seven charges brought against them.

“The Congolese duo will be sentenced tomorrow, Friday, 08 March 2024 whilst the trio will be sentenced on 21 May 2024,” Mogale said.

ALSO READ: Foreign national petrol attendant in court over stealing R400K

Mogale said it is alleged that during 2021, a Department of Home Affairs official, Judy Zuma operating with a foreign nationals syndicate colluded with South African citizens to assist foreign nationals from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Democratic Republic of Congo to obtain South African passports by using citizens’ identity documents and biometrics.

“The foreign nationals fraudulently replaced the owners’ photos with theirs and assumed the names of the South African citizens. The official Judy Zuma has since pleaded guilty and convicted on 1,159 counts of fraud, corruption, contravention of  Immigration Act 13 of 2002 and Contravention of Identification Act.

“Zuma will be sentenced on 05 April 2024,” Mogale said.

Cybercrime

Earlier this week, a 32-year-old petrol attendant, who allegedly stole about R400,000 from two banks using a skimming device, appeared in the Middelburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court for the contravention of the Cybercrime Act 19/2020.

The Swati national was arrested by the Hawks Middelburg-based Serious Commercial Crimes Investigation on Monday at the Ultra City N4 Middelburg.

It is alleged that during an internal audit, ABSA/FNB bank card investigators had suspicions of a skimming device among the petrol attendants at the garage.

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