ID scam warning for Ndebeles in SA

The South African government has once again distanced itself from a ring that claims to be processing naturalisation papers for Zimbabweans.

Since last year, Zimbabweans from Matabeleland have been flocking to a building in Pretoria to apply for naturalisation documents. People running the process claim that they have the mandate from the South African government to naturalise Ndebeles, who are originally from Zululand in the KwaZulu Natal province.

However, the Department of Home Affairs reiterated this week that it was not part of the so-called process and warned Zimbabweans against falling prey to the scam.

“All DHA processes are run after public announcements and inside our offices,” said DHA director-general Mkhuseli Apleni. “We do not run our public operations in secret and in private premises, so people should not allow themselves to be scammed by criminals taking advantage of their desperation.”

Despite the continued warnings, a number of Zimbabweans are still said to be falling prey to the scam, which has operated from a number of buildings in Pretoria since late last year.

Information obtained by The Zimbabwean early this week is that thousands have already been scammed, as they have kept flocking to a building in Lodium, on the outskirts of Pretoria.

Prospective holders of the identity card are required to produce their Zimbabwean identity documents and pay R1,500 in application fees plus R30 for passport photos.

Although it could not be immediately confirmed, police are said to have arrested three of the people running the scam, but others are still at large and carrying on their business from new locations.

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