Jun 26, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

‘Fake marriage’ costs DRC-born home affairs official his SA citizenship

The professional ambition of being a minister of the interior has had unintended consequences for him.

Mbemba Pierre Mahinga faces a bleak year in 2022 after the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) denied his request to stop undressing by the ministry of the interior his SA citizenship.

In 1996 Mahinga, now 55, came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as an asylum seeker in South Africa in a sham marriage in order to obtain citizenship. < / p>

He worked at the Home Office where a promotion uncovered problems with his resume.

Mahinga has been involved in a lawsuit with the Home Office Minister and Director General since 2016 when the Minister revoked his citizenship and his Termination of employment.

He dragged the Minister and the Director General to the High Court in Pretoria and received a slight respite when the court ruled the citizenship decision Aside.

The entire bank of the court, however, later ruled in favor of the minister and the director general when they appealed, whereupon Mahinga turned to the SCA.

The court in Bloemfontein dashed its hopes last month. A 17-page ruling by Judge Dumisani Zondi described inconsistencies in Mahinga’s résumé, asylum application and marriage.

The ruling states that Mahinga flew to the Democratic Republic of Congo for a vacation in 2012, despite claims for having fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo for fear of persecution abroad.

Following the verdict, Mahinga married a South African in 1999. The following year he withdrew his asylum application and applied for a permanent residence permit. It was awarded in 2001 and received citizenship two years later.

“At that point there were problems in the marriage,” said Zondi.

“His wife allegedly saw herself with one other man. A child was born from this relationship on October 15, 2003, four months after his application for naturalization. In 2015 he renounced his Congolese citizenship. ”

In 2004 Mahinga got a job as an administrative clerk at the Refugee Reception Center for Home Affairs in Pretoria. In 2006 he was promoted to assistant director.

“When he applied for a position at the institute, he submitted his résumé as part of his application. Based on work experience on his résumé, he stated that he was employed as an administrative clerk at the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Pretoria from July 1998 to August 2000 and that he left the Embassy because he was fired, “said Zondi.

A lead in 2007 led to an investigation by the Home Office, but Mahinga was not working with officials when he was asked to provide information for review purposes in 2011.

The investigation escalated in 2013 when The Department suspended Found inconsistencies in his citizenship application after reviewing her movement control system. These included how and when he entered the SA, the legitimacy of his marriage, and “incorrectly registering multiple children in his personnel and salary system”.

The ministry concluded that he was “an illegal alien , whose only two options “remain in South Africa, apply for asylum or enter into a marriage of convenience,” said Zondi.

His application was based on false information and the spouse’s permit to support his citizenship application was allegedly false. < / p> p>

Mahinga denied the allegations.

“I have never been an illegal alien in South Africa,” he told the Interior Ministry.

“My asylum application was based on the truth – Lifelong persecution experiences. My asylum application was only properly filed and properly registered in 1996. In 1998, the Ministry of the Interior went through a second feedback process Your love, good faith, and a genuine marital relationship, reinforced by dreams, family life, and fidelity that should last until death do us part. “

He said only the department could shed light on “how people whom I never officially declared or were connected to as my children were eventually connected to me”.

The SCA found that Mahinga was given permanent residence on the basis of false information because he was not with the woman he was supposedly married to. It dismissed his appeal and sentenced him to pay the legal costs.

Neither Mahinga’s attorneys nor the Home Office responded to requests for comment.