Home Affairs Appeals Director Major Kobese Fired Over Dodgy SA Permits

Johannesburg – A Home Affairs Department on Wednesday announced that the director who tried to facilitate the unlawful processing of permits for Gupta associate Ashu Chawla has been fired.

Major Kobese, the Home Affairs Director for Appeals, was found guilty on three counts of gross misconduct in the execution of his duties in a disciplinary hearing that lasted five months.

Kobese unsuccessfully facilitated the undue processing of permits for Chawla and others in Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates, which they did not qualify for.

The first allegation involved him having exerted pressure on the officials of the Department to process and issue visas and permits in breach of the applicable laws and/or regulations and/or standard procedures applicable within the Department.

The second allegation involved him having allowed outside and/or private individuals and/or interests to unduly control and influence him in the execution of his duties, which in many instances resulted in some visa applicants getting preferential treatment in respect of their applications.

The third allegation involved him having engaged in grossly inappropriate conduct including paying a bribe.

The Chairperson of the Disciplinary Hearing found that “given the core responsibility of Mr. Kobese, as a senior manager, to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct and a high level of integrity and his complete lack of remorse, the conclusion which I ineluctably arrive at is that the employment relationship has been destroyed and dismissal is the appropriate sanction”.

Home Affairs Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi said: “We are unflinching in our commitment to ensuring that we bring to a speedy end irregular practices and decisions by home affairs officials within the system. 

“The outcome of this disciplinary hearing shows that there are many officials who continue to do their work diligently even when placed under pressure by their managers. 

“It also shows that we are rooting out all forms of corruption, malfeasance and irregularities we find at home affairs.”