A TOP Department of Home Affairs official is under fire for approving controversial Malawian fugitive and self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his family’s applications for permanent residency.
Ronney Marhule, the department’s chief director for permits, has been charged internally for approving the Bushiris’ permanent residency applications without proper compliance with standard operating procedures.
Marhule is accused of being party to the recommending and approval of Bushiri’s and his immediate family’s applications for permanent residency.
An internal Home Affairs investigation found that since March 2016, when Bushiri’s application for permanent residence was received, its approval has been done without proper compliance with the Department of Home Affairs’ standard operating procedures and in contravention of the Immigration Act.
The department’s evidence shows that the Bushiris’ applications were captured and granted by its officials using the incorrect section of the Act as a result of Bushiri and his wife Mary’s commissions or omissions.
According to papers filed at the Labour Court in Johannesburg, where Marhule was challenging the disciplinary hearing initiated against him, he and three other officials were enablers and facilitators who made it possible for Bushiri to obtain a permanent residence permit.
The department believes this allowed Bushiri and his family to be able to remain in South Africa and commit criminal acts which include fraud, forgery and money laundering charges they are facing and later skipping the country while out on bail.
Marhule hauled Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and director-general Livhuwani Makhode to the Labour Court to urgently challenge the fact that the department had a legal representative in the disciplinary hearing while he did not.
His basis for approaching the court urgently was that he has demonstrated exceptional and compelling circumstances for its intervention in his incomplete disciplinary proceedings.
Marhule argued that because the department was allowed to be legally represented at the internal hearing, he would suffer prejudice.
This was due to the fact that he did not have the financial means to secure his own legal representation.
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