Police 'assist illegals'

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A case of corruption and aiding illegal immigrants to cross the border into South Africa against 13 police reservists was yesterday postponed in the Komatipoort magistrate's court.

Last Wednesday three buses from Lindela holding facility in Gauteng transported more than 300 illegal immigrants to Mozambique, escorted by the reservist constables.

The buses went through the border gates to off-load the deportees and return to South Africa.

"The police manning the border post, on searching the buses as they returned to South Africa, discovered 26 deportees hiding under the seats in the three buses," said police spokesman Leonard Hlathi.

"The reservist policemen were in the buses," he said.

Hlathi said the deportees said they were stowed under the seats by the police officials for a fee.

"Some alleged that they gave their cellphones as payment, while others said they had promised to pay the police when they arrived back in the country," said Hlathi.

He said the immigrants claimed the reservists helped them to cross the border illegally back into the country.

The 13 reservists, all from Gauteng, were arrested on charges of corruption and aiding illegal immigrants.

They were released on a warning until their next appearance.