Home affairs official,Judy Zuma, and foreign nationals found guilty of fraud and corruption

Four foreign nationals have been found guilty of fraud and corruption for assuming the identities of South African citizens.

The convictions, handed down by the Durban magistrate’s court, mark the peak of a thorough investigation conducted by the Hawks and the Department of Home Affairs’ counter-corruption team in KwaZulu-Natal.

Among those convicted are Tausi Majani Kahwere, aged 25, and John Majani Kahwere, aged 44, both coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Additionally, Morshed Alam, aged 25, and Saiful Islam Sujon, aged 43, both Bangladeshi nationals, were found guilty. Oliver Whendle Hurriparsad, a South African citizen aged 42, was also convicted in connection with the scheme.

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These convictions underscore the commitment of law enforcement agencies to combat fraud and corruption, particularly in cases where individuals unlawfully assume the identities of others. Such crimes not only undermine the integrity of identity systems but also pose risks to national security and public trust.

“It was reported that during 2021, a department of home affairs official, Judy Zuma, operating with a foreign nationals syndicate, colluded with South African citizens to assist foreign nationals from Pakistan, Bangladesh and DRC Congo to obtain South African passports by using their identity documents and biometrics,” said Mogale

Judy Zuma and foreign nationals steal South African identities

The foreign nationals implicated in the fraudulent scheme resorted to deceitful tactics, including replacing the photos of the rightful owners with their own and assuming the identities of South African citizens.

One of the individuals involved, Zuma, has since pleaded guilty and faced the consequences of her actions. She was convicted on a staggering 1,159 counts, including fraud, corruption, contravention of the Immigration Act, and contravention of the Identification Act. Zuma is set to receive her sentence on April 5th.

Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale provided further updates, indicating that the Congolese duo will face sentencing on Friday, while the other trio will have to wait until May 21st to learn their fate.


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