South Africa News

Asylum seekers admit paying bribes for documents amid SIU raid on Home Affairs

As Special Investigating Unit (SIU) officials raided some refugee centres around the country on Friday, asylum seekers have admitted to being forced to pay for their documentation.

Investigators raided the centres, including the biggest one in Marabastad, as part of their investigation into allegations of corruption at Home Affairs.

One hundred and twenty officials have been flagged for dodgy dealings in the awarding of refugee status.

“If they don’t want to give us paper, they must close this place and they must not welcome us into this country.”

That’s the sentiment of many asylum seekers who have been stationed outside Home Affairs’ Marabastad Refugee Centre.

In South Africa, refugee status should be free but as things stand, some frustrated asylum seekers have told the publication that applicants have to pay anything from R3,500 to R17,000 in bribes just to get their hands on the coveted paper.

“We don’t want to be illegal here in South Africa, we want to be here legally, that’s why we are suffering here. We want to get proper documentation from here.”

The people here have spent another day outside this office without any assistance as SIU officials continue with their raid, seizing computers, laptops,cellphones and documents.

-EWN

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