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DA opens case against minister for ‘smuggling’ Burundian woman into SA

Police have been asked to probe whether Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula violated South Africa’s Immigration Act.

FILE: Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula during her son's funeral. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Police in Cape Town have been asked to investigate whether Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula violated South Africa's Immigration Act when she brought a Burundian woman, with a fake passport, into the country, on an Air Force jet.

Today, the Democratic Alliance (DA) opened a case against the minister for "smuggling" Michelle Wege into the country in 2014.

The minister claims Wege, who has been staying with her, was "rescued" from an abusive home in her native, Burundi.

The DA's Kobus Marais says the minister should have followed legal and diplomatic channels.

"If it was all justified and there was merit in this case, we believe that there were enough legal and diplomatic routes to follow. It was certainly not necessary to smuggle the lady in."

Marais has also applied for access to specific information around the controversial trip.

"We have submitted an application to get specific information in terms of who approved this trip, who was involved in this trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and who cleared them via customs and via the Waterkloof Air Force Base."

Wege's father has denied abusing his daughter.

He also told the Sunday Times last week that Wege was romantically involved with the minister's late son, Chumani.

Mapisa-Nqakula's son was stabbed to death, allegedly by his friend Carlos Higuera, in Bezuidenhout Valley, in October last year.