Ramaphosa has put Home Affairs and Prasa in the SIU crosshairs

 ·20 Feb 2024

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is expected to launch a probe into allegations of serious maladministration in the affairs of the Department of Home Affairs and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

This was after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed proclamations authorising the corruption-busting unit to investigate the department and PRASA.

The SIU said it will also probe “improper or unlawful conduct by officials or employees of the State entities and…recover any financial losses suffered by the State”.

“Proclamation 154 of 2024 empowers the SIU to probe serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of Home Affairs relating to the issuance of permanent residence permits; corporate visas; business visas; critical/exceptional skills work visas; study visas; retired persons’ visas; work visas; and citizenship by naturalisation, contrary to the Immigration Act, 2002; the South African Citizenship Act, 1995; manuals, guidelines, circulars, practice notes or instructions applicable to Home Affairs; or manuals, policies, procedures, prescripts, instructions or practices of or applicable to the Department,” the SIU said.

The unit said it would also investigate “improper or unlawful conduct by officials or employees of Home Affairs in relation to the installation of T200 firewalls”.

“The Proclamation also empowers the SIU to investigate any irregular, unlawful or improper conduct by officials or employees of Home Affairs or any other person or entity in relation to the allegations being investigated.

“The Proclamation covers allegations of unlawful and improper conduct that took place between 12 October 2004 and 16 February 2024, the date of the publication of the Proclamation or before 12 October 2004 and after the date of the Proclamation that is relevant to, connected with, incidental to the matters or involves the same persons, entities or contracts investigated,” the SIU said.


The SIU explained that in relation to PRASA, the unit will investigate allegations of corruption related to the awarding of tenders for the supply of trains.

The proclamation covers a period from 1 January 2010 to 16 February 2024.

“Proclamation 153 of 2024 empowers the SIU to probe offences that were committed…in relation to the award of tenders for the supply of various train locomotives to Swifambo Rail Leasing and the supply and maintenance of an integrated security access management system at various train stations to Siyangena Technologies.

“The SIU will also investigate serious maladministration in the affairs of PRASA relating to fraudulent liability claims processed and paid by PRASA’s Group Insurance Department, including claims paid as one-time vendor payments.

The probe will also extend to the employment of ghost employees identified by PRASA’s Project Zivese in August 2021,” the anti-corruption unit said.

The SIU said it will also “identify system failures and make systematic recommendations to improve measures to prevent future losses”.

“In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 (SIU Act), the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action.

“The SIU is empowered by the SIU Act to institute a civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during its investigation caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration,” the SIU said.

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