OFFICIAL TOLD TO LEAVE SA

A TOP Mpumalanga official who allegedly works in South Africa illegally could be deported as early as Friday.

A TOP Mpumalanga official who allegedly works in South Africa illegally could be deported as early as Friday.

But Nelisiwe Sithole, head of the provincial department of agriculture, is adamant that allegations against her are untrue.

Sithole's lawyer, Macbeth Ncongwane, told Sowetan yesterday that he had met Department of Home Affairs officials in Pretoria and that a formal response would be issued soon.

"My client is not an illegal immigrant. She was cleared by Home Affairs on September 29 last year after her arrest," he said.

It is understood that Sithole was under investigation for allegedly obtaining South African documents fraudulently.

On July 25 2007, while working as a senior official in the Limpopo department of agriculture, Sithole, and Msunduza Hamilton Dlamini made headlines when they were arrested on allegations that they both worked in the country illegally.

At the time Sithole, 32, earned R41800 a month.

But Blackie Mogashoa, an investigating officer at customs, insisted yesterday that Sithole gave false information about her real place of birth.

Sithole came from a village near Mbabane, Swaziland, in early 1996 and obtained her documents in 1997.

According to Mogashoa a recommendation was made by the director ofpublic prosecutions that Sithole be charged with fraud, while Home Affairs instructed her to leave the country within 10 days.

"She has until Friday to leave the country," Mogashoa said .

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