'Home Affairs guilty of improper conduct in naturalisation process'

Busisiwe Mkhwebane's office investigated allegations of undue delay to finalise applications for naturalisation as South African citizens.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on 4 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has directed the home affairs minister to review regulations with regards to the Citizenship Act.

Mkhwebane's office investigated allegations of undue delay to finalise applications for naturalisation as South African citizens following several complaints over the past three years.

It's the process of admitting a foreigner to the citizenship of the country.

Mkhwebane found the Home Affairs Department guilty of improper conduct.

Some of the complaints from foreigners trying to obtain citizenship were about the department's decision to reject applications that were lodged before the expiry date of 10 years after obtaining a permanent residence permit.

During the investigation, the Public Protector served notices to both the home affairs minister and the director general of the department but has not received any response.

Mkhwebane found that the department did not comply with the basic values and principles governing public administration as per Section 195 of the Constitution and therefore asked the ministry to review these regulations.