Nine government officials busted for illegally releasing 36 parolees

Nine government officials busted for illegally releasing 36 parolees.
Nine government officials busted for illegally releasing 36 parolees.
Image: STOCK IMAGE

Nine government officials have been arrested for allegedly illegally releasing 36 female parolees over a period of more than a year.

This was announced by the police‚ the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Correctional Services in Pretoria on Monday.

“The foreign parolees‚ most of whom were drug smugglers or drug mules‚ had to be released and deported to their country of origin through Lindela deportation centre. Instead they were sent directly to the Johannesburg Department of Home Affairs regional office for an unprocedural and illegal early release‚” they said in a joint statement.

Family or friends of the parolees allegedly paid bribes into the bank accounts of Home Affairs or Correctional Services officials.

“At times‚ the officials would demand bribes of the amount of R3 000 for those from African countries and R6 000 for those from outside Africa.”

Correctional Services officials also allegedly falsified documents which enabled Home Affairs officials to allegedly create false release documents to help inmates flee from or remain in South Africa.

“The Minister of Home Affairs has directed the department to review the internal control measures as well as the delegation of powers.”

Some of the parolees have since left South Africa‚ but six have been rearrested. They include three Guyana nationals arrested for drug-related offences‚ one Zambian imprisoned for drugs and two Zimbabweans for theft. “It emerged that these six had no intention of leaving South Africa.”

The other illegally released parolees included women from Congo‚ Nigeria‚ Ghana‚ Mozambique and Lesotho. The police’s crime intelligence started investigating the alleged corruption in mid-2016.

The nine government officials were arrested during a raid on Friday morning. One suspects remains at large and another died in a car crash last month. The nine will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

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