Shephard Bushiri

Official fired for granting Bushiri residency

A SOUTH African Home Affairs Department senior official dismissed for his role in issuing fraudulent permanent residency to fugitive self-styled prophet Shephard Bushiri has appealed against the sanction in the bargaining council.

Four other officials are being hauled before disciplinary proceedings. This emerged when Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi briefed the National Assembly’s home affairs committee on the escape of the Bushiris while out on bail when charged with R102 million fraud two years ago.

Motsoaledi said the department discovered that Bushiri’s permanent residency was irregularly obtained through officials via a fraudulent scheme. He said officials were charged for gross dishonesty, gross negligence as well as non-compliance with the Immigration Act, regulations and standard operating procedures.

 A disciplinary hearing has been finalised in connection with one of the implicated officials. “The senior official in charge at chief director level was dismissed on May 23 with immediate effect. He was found guilty of gross dishonesty and gross negligence. The two charges are dismissible offences.”

However, Motsoaledi said the former official had appealed against the sanction with the General Public Service Sectoral Bargaining Council and the matter was now under arbitration. He also said he had been surprised by the turn of events because the official had tried to stop the disciplinary proceedings and took the matter up to the Labour Appeal Court without success.

 “The surprising part is that after being dismissed, public servants can start a new process at the bargaining council. I thought once you go to court and lose, that is where the matter ends.” Motsoaledi said because the dismissed chief director took the matter to the bargaining council, it would now be heard afresh.

The minister also said the four other officials were placed on precautionary suspension from March 15-18, 2020 for aiding and abetting in issuing fraudulent permits to the Bushiris. — Cape Times

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