Four accused sentenced for contravention of Immigration Act

MPUMALANGA – Four accused namely Faud Mohammed Ali (37), Christopher Marillier (39), Gabriel Samuel van der Merwe (33) and Sifiso Kheswa (31) were sentenced by the White River Magistrates’ Court for fraud and corruption on Tuesday, 28 February 2023.

The accused were arrested by the Middelburg based Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation after the exploration linked the accused to the crimes in terms of the Immigration Act.

During 2021 and 2022, a Department of Home Affairs official allegedly colluded with South African citizens to assist foreign nationals from Pakistan and Bangladesh to obtain South African passports by using their identity documents. The foreign nationals fraudulently replaced the owners’ photos with theirs and assumed the names of the South African citizens.

The accused were each sentenced to R100 000 fine or three years imprisonment for charges relating to contravention of Immigration Act. They further received R40 000 fine or 12 months imprisonment each.

The case against Nhlanhla Mathebula (40), a Home Affairs official was postponed to 9 March 2023 for trial.

Source: South African Police Service