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Calls for Home Affairs to end corruption at refugee centres

Foreign nationals reportedly have to pay bribes at reception offices to have their paperwork finalised.

FILE: Minister Malusi Gigaba tours the newly renovated Edenvale Home Affairs offices. Photo: Louise McAuliffe

JOHANNESBURG - Calls have been made for a reform of the Home Affairs Department to end corruption at refugee reception offices.

On Wednesday, the African Centre for Migration and Society released a new report documenting shocking levels of corruption in South Africa's asylum system.

Foreign nationals reportedly have to pay multiple bribes at reception offices to have their paperwork finalised.

Researchers say the single person decision making system is an ideal breeding ground for corruption.

Some respondents of the study have reported having to pay a bribe to translators to ensure their version of events is translated accurately.

Researcher Loren Landau said, "They're asking refugee status determination officers to see sometimes 10 or 12 cases a day, that's 10 or 12 interviews with people who may not speak English well, who have long complicated stories. Their first reaction is simply reject, if you want your status you going to have to pay."

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