A FORMER prosecutor and priest, a local teacher and the head of immigration at the country’s busiest border post are among the 11 people who appeared at the Musina Magistrate Court in Limpopo on charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
Beit Bridge border post’s immigration head Elvis Mavhungu, former senior prosecutor and priest Adv. Edward Pesula and nine other suspects were released on R3000 bail each today.
Four others – Musina high school teacher Theodore Maoka, former Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) councillor Eugine Khoza, immigration officer Edward Tshivhase and suspected illegal immigrant Philip Molea – were denied bail.
The group were part of 15 people arrested by the Hawks during a string operation at the Beit Bridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe on Thursday.
They appeared at a packed Court B of the Musina Magistrate’s Court this morning.
Hawks national spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani said their arrests followed a six months investigation into illegal activities at the border post.
He said some of those who were denied bail have pending cases against them while others were still being profiled by the police.
Mavhungu (54) is facing accusations of receiving a bribe of two pairs of shoes worth R3000 each, in exchange for illegally stamping a passport.
He was picked up at his office on Thursday. Mavhungu’s wife and son also work for Home Affairs.
The state alleges that Pesula (46) accepted a R23 000 kickback for illegally facilitating a business visa for a foreign national.
Maoka allegedly pocketed R42 000 from illegal immigrants, in exchange for unduly processing temporary residence permits, entry and departure documents on twenty one passports.
Khoza, who owns a Clearing Agent at Beit Bridge and has a pending corruption charge against him, is accused of accepting R7 000 for issuing false immigration stamps to foreign nationals.
Tshivhase (47) allegedly walked away with R2000 for stamping a passport in the absence of its owner.
He was previously nabbed for corruption related matters.
Maoka was also arrested last year after being found in possession of Home Affairs stamps.
His wife apparently works for Home Affairs at Beit Bridge. Molea is suspected of being an illegal immigrant that uses false names.
He was denied bail pending the verification of his citizenship. As part of their bail conditions, all suspects were barred from setting feet at their work places at the border post.
They would appear in court again between June 27 and July 4, for trial.