An immigration officer has been released on R1,000 bail after making his first court appearance at the Postmasburg Magistrate Court on Wednesday for alleged corruption.
Thapelo Mogashoa, 36, who works for Department of Home Affairs in Postmasburg, was arrested earlier on Wednesday by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation and faces charges of contravening the prevention and combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004.
According to Hawks spokesperson Nomthandazo Mnisi, Mogashoa was reported to the authorities after he demanded a R7,500 bribe from two immigrants that were arrested over invalid documents.
“It is alleged that during June 2019, the complainant was arrested with other illegal immigrants due to invalid documents and he was later released after it was established that his documents were correct.
“The other illegal immigrants were kept in custody as they awaited judgement from Postmasburg Magistrate court.
“Upon judgement, they were given fines of R600 each and were set to be deported after payment unless they rectify their documents.
“It is further alleged that the immigration officer demanded a combined gratification of R7 500 from two of the immigrants in order to release them before deportation,” Minisi said in a statement.
Mnisi said Mogashoa further allegedly approached the complainant’s employer, accused him of owing his employee an undisclosed amount of money.
Mogashoa also threatened to arrest the employer, Mnisi said.
“The employer denied the allegations and the suspect demanded R3,000 gratification to repair his vehicle. The matter was reported to the Hawks for investigations and the immigration officer was arrested,” Mnisi added.
Mogashoa was later released on bail and the case was postponed to the 5 March 2021 for further investigation.