by John Moodey MPL – DA Gauteng Provincial Leader
Following an oversight inspection to the Desmond Tutu Refugee Reception Centre in Tshwane yesterday, I will contact the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to probe what action they are taking against corrupt officials whose actions exacerbate illegal immigration.
“Just to get [in] the line, you have to bribe the guards between R300 to R500”, an affected person tells the DA about the rot of corruption at the Desmond Tutu Refugee Reception Centre in Tshwane (click here for the sound clip).
During an oversight inspection to the refugee centre yesterday (see picture here), we uncovered, in more depth, the exploitation that immigrants face. We saw the brutality and the corruption first hand. We were shocked by the cruelty of the guards and other officials there.
Those affected clamored to talk to the media about how they are exploited and abused as the press were barred from entering the premises.
Home Affairs is failing to ensure order and the rule of law, and undermining basic human rights and dignity. Instead, they solicit bribes from and beat immigrants. This corrupt system is exacerbating illegal immigration – in Johannesburg alone is around half a million people.
Senior officials at the centre acknowledged that they often hear allegations of bribery and corruption, adding that DHA is investigating a number of corruption cases internally.
Since these allegations of corruption are known, one would expect the department to take serious action but it’s unclear what DHA is doing about it. I will meet with the department to get clarity on exactly what they are doing to bring these lawless officials to book.
The Department of Home Affairs should be a key player in upholding the law and in seeing that those who enter and stay in our country, do so legally. It’s time that DHA gets to work to address illegal immigration.
Only the DA is capable of bringing the kind of change that ensures that DHA operates without corruption and people entering our borders from across the world are treated with dignity.