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Home Affairs officials accused of extortion

Eyewitness News has identified a Home Affairs official who took money to issue free documents.

Zimbabweans queue outside Home Affairs in Johannesburg waiting to apply for permits. Picture: Nastasya Tay/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News understands that corrupt officials from the Department of Home Affairs withheld approved permits from a foreigner, only agreeing to issue it after a monetary bribe was paid.

An Eyewitness News investigation identified the official who took money from a Zimbabwean national in order to issue a work permit, that had already been granted.

The Department of Home Affairs in 2011 embarked on efforts to improve efficiency and transparency at offices around the country, but many applicants said they were still battling to get things done.

Enoch (not his real name) is quiet, unassuming and angry, as it took him nearly a year and a half to get his work permit stuck into his new passport.

Along the way he was confronted with corrupt Home Affairs officials and repeatedly asked for bribes for services that was supposed to be free.

"They said to me they wanted money.

"They showed me the passport, but the permit was not stuck in it. So when I saw it, I had to give him R100."

Enoch said he has seen money exchanging hands in this manner at Home Affairs offices around Gauteng.

After being presented with photographs of the official in question, taken with a hidden camera, Home Affairs confirmed the matter would be investigated further.