Robert Booth and Barry Victor Weigemod were sentenced by the Nelspruit Commercial Crimes Court to 8 years in prison each for corruption.

  • Two men were convicted of demanding money for processing immigration documents.
  • The men were wearing Home Affairs uniforms when they asked for 500 rand to process an immigration permit
  • The hawks arrested them after they were tipped off by foreign farmers they were targeting.

Two men have been sentenced to eight years in prison for corruption after demanding bribes from foreign farm workers to complete immigration documents.

Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said Robert Booth, 53, and Barry Victor Weigemod, 35, were arrested in March in Mbombela.

The arrests came after they visited a farm outside Mbambole dressed in Home Office uniforms.

Booth works for the department, while Weighemod does not.

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They approached the farm foreman and asked if he and the 11 other foreigners working there had the proper permits and immigration documents.

The foreman said they had passports and asylum-seeker permits, but was told he and other workers would be arrested if they did not have the “proper documents,” Sekgotodi said.

“They promised to draw up the papers if they paid 500 rubles each [and] promised to return on March 16, 2022, to give them the papers and collect the money.”

An undercover operation was planned and the two men were arrested when they returned to the farm.

“The accused returned to the farm to hand over permits to 12 farmers in exchange for R5 000. They were arrested immediately after receiving the money,” Sekgotodi said.

They were each sentenced to eight years in prison, half of which will be suspended for five years, provided they are not found guilty of corruption during the suspended period. They were also found unfit to store firearms.

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