Home Affairs confident of resolving Mokotjo debacle
South Africa’s department of Home Affairs are confident that they can solve the eligibility issue surrounding Kamohelo Mokotjo to enable him to play for Bafana Bafana against Guinea-Bissau on Saturday‚ a spokesman told Times Media Digital on Wednesday.
Home Affairs spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said that the department is establishing the facts‚ and what documentation Mokotjo has‚ or needs‚ to be sure of his South African citizenship ahead of Saturday’s friendly international at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Tshwete said Mokotjo’s case is being given priority and can be fast-tracked if necessary‚ and that Home Affairs will do what they can within the law.
“We’re just trying to verify a number of things in his documents to make sure that everything is in order in terms of his citizenship‚” Tshwete said on Wednesday.
“So we need to look at a number of things – the question of dual citizenship form in the Netherlands‚ the question of application for retention [of citizenship from SA Home Affairs].
“And if not the question of reapplication for citizenship.”
Mokotjo received Dutch citizenship last year year.
The Netherlands requires new citizens to renounce their previous citizenship‚ rather than having dual citizenship.
“That’s one of the things we need to check and verify. That notwithstanding‚ we will verify if he applied for retention.”
It appears the FC Twente midfielder‚ based in Holland for seven years‚ also may not have applied to South Africa’s Home Affairs to retain‚ or reapply for‚ his SA citizenship.
However‚ Home Affairs would have it within their means to fast-track any complications from the South African side.
“He wouldn’t be the first sportsperson to have complications around his documents resolved quickly for the interests of the country. It can be prioritised but we will make sure it is done within the law‚” Tshwete said.
“But also‚ given the nature of these kinds of documents – there are not that many South Africans who reapply for citizenship or apply for retention – so there is not a long cue to jump.
“So it would be prioritised and ideally we would give Safa a way forward by tomorrow [Thursday].”
Home Affairs have also investigated exceptions to the Dutch rule if a new citizen moved to the Netherlands when they were under 18. Mokotjo‚ though‚ was 18 years and four months old when he moved from SuperSport United to Feyenoord in August 2009.
“We are confident that we can solve it. But ultimately our focus is on‚ and we are cautious about‚ doing it within the law‚” Tshwete said.
Mokotjo has five caps for Bafana.
The midfielder declared himself unavailable for call-ups in April last year having had a fallout with then-coach Shakes Mashaba. - TMG Digital/TMG Sport