12 November 2020 - NW2399
van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs
In light of the fact that the Public Servants Association of South Africa has accused his department of victimising and harassing its Director of Law Enforcement, (name and details furnished), what are the details of the job description of a Law Enforcement Officer within his department; (2) whether he has found that the specified person’s investigation of the specified individuals fell outside of her duties; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the further relevant details; (3) whether he has found that the person was engaged in any unlawful conduct; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, why was the person not arrested and charged with a criminal offence?
- Law Enforcement officials within Department of Home Affairs (DHA) come within 2 categories. there are immigration officers in the inspectorate unit which deal with transgressions under the immigration act and other departmental legislation where a foreign national is attempting to gain a benefit such as using fraudulent information to obtain an ID, birth certification or citizenship. The other law enforcement official is those working within the Counter Corruption and Security Services Branch to combat corruption and unethical conduct by officials within the department. Immigration Inspectorate officials derive their powers under section 33 of the Immigration Act,2002. They can investigate any matter falling under the Immigration Act, subject to the directions of the Minister. Under section 34(1) of the Immigration Act an immigration officer without the need for a warrant may arrest an illegal foreigner, cause him or her to be deported and pending deportation may detain him or her. The job description of an inspectorate official is derived from the Immigration Act, 2002. They are also declared as peace officers under the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977.
- The matters relating to this official are part of an ongoing investigation into gross misconduct. The Honourable member is referred to our media statement released on 2 October 2020 (www.dha.gov.za) which addresses this question regarding support provided to the official on investigations they have undertaken.
- This matter remains a pending investigation. Further action will be determined following further investigation.