new passports out next month

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South Africans will have a new passport - with undisclosed security features built into it - next month.

Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa, pictured, told a news briefing that the passport would have "highly complex security features". Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula declined to say what the features were, adding that even she did not know.

However, Justice Minister Enver Surty said at the same briefing that the Cabinet had been briefed about the security features, a revelation that prompted Mapisa-Nqakula to say yes, she knew about the watermarks and other things, but not all the features.

She said the new passports would be issued only whens current passports expired.

Mthethwa also told journalists that the anti-corruption unit at Home Affairs was continuing to work with the police and the National Intelligence Agency to identify individuals involved in corruption and fraud within the department.

South African visitors to Britain have had to be in possession of a visa from Tuesday this week because of British concerns over the security of South African passports.