Pretoria: 1 April 2016 – Two immigration officers based at the OR Tambo International Airport have today appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court after they were arrested by a police task team for corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
The immigration officers, Vusani Lalamani and Dimakatso Phaladi, both 33, were arrested yesterday by the South African Police Service task team based at the airport after they were found to have been in possession of a passport belonging to a wanted Nigerian suspect, who is being sought for fraud and contempt of court.
About two weeks ago, the police’s suspicion was roused when their computer system, which happens to be linked with that of home affairs at the airport, reported the presence of a wanted suspect at one of the immigration desks. Upon their arrival at the desk they only found the immigration officer, without the suspect. By then the passport had already exchanged hands.
Investigations have since revealed that the two immigration officers have been working together. How they ended up in possession of the suspect’s passport is still being investigated. Their case has been postponed to 29 April 2016 for further investigation. They were both granted bail of R2, 000, 00 (two thousand rand) each.
The duo’s arrest comes in the same week as one person was convicted for extorting money from an Angolan woman in early March. Luthando Dayile, 24, was this week convicted and sentenced to three years in prison or a R15, 000, 00 fine by the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court. He and his colleague were arrested by the task team. His colleague was found not guilty. At the time they were accused of extorting US$200 from the woman after it was found that her child’s papers were not in order.