Po­lice to fast-track vet­ting for SA per­mits

Lesotho Times - - News - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

months be­cause of the ur­gency of the mat­ter.

The per­mits would be valid from 1 May 2016 to 30 april 2020 and seek to reg­u­larise the stay of Le­sotho na­tion­als who had been liv­ing in south africa il­le­gally.

“The Plan­ning and de­sign phase com­menced this month (novem­ber 2015) and will end on 31 Jan­uary 2016.

“The first of Fe­bru­ary 2016 is the tar­geted date for the of­fi­cial com­mence­ment of the LSP Pro­gramme, when we will start re­ceiv­ing ap­pli­ca­tions,” noted south africa’s home affairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba when an­nounc­ing THE po­lice would be hir­ing ad­di­tional staff to fast-track vet­ting for Ba­sotho seek­ing clear­ance for spe­cial per­mits to work, study or op­er­ate busi­nesses in south africa.

ap­pli­ca­tions for the four-year Le­sotho spe­cial Per­mits ( LSP) be­gin on 1 Fe­bru­ary 2016, and one of the re­quire­ments for el­i­gi­bil­ity is po­lice clear­ance, which nor­mally takes two months to be is­sued.

But ac­cord­ing to po­lice spokesper­son Clifford Molefe, the clear­ance would take less than the two were recorded in a book while their pass­ports were not stamped as ex­pected.

a 45-year-old Maseru woman who spoke to the Le­sotho Times on con­di­tion of anonymity vowed to be back in south africa by 3 Jan­uary as this is the date her em­ployer ex­pects her to re­turn. The woman is a house­maid in the north West prov­ince.

“I am very happy with what the two gov­ern­ments have done for us. I didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence any dif­fi­cul­ties when I crossed the bor­der on my way home for Christ­mas,” the woman said this week.

“I started work­ing in north West in 2013 af­ter my hus­band had passed away. It was ei­ther I went to look for a job in south africa or my chil­dren were go­ing to starve be­cause there are no jobs here in Le­sotho.

“I had last come home in april dur­ing the Easter hol­i­days and paid bribes to im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials so that I would not be pun­ished. I am happy that this time around I didn’t have to pay any­thing be­cause of the amnesty. the per­mits and sus­pen­sion of the de­por­ta­tion of un­doc­u­mented Ba­sotho from 11 de­cem­ber 2015 to 31 de­cem­ber 2016 as part of the dis­pen­sa­tion.

ad­dress­ing the me­dia this week, se­nior In­spec­tor Molefe said the de­ci­sion to boost staff was meant to en­sure Ba­sotho ben­e­fit from the spe­cial dis­pen­sa­tion.

“The po­lice have taken a de­ci­sion to help fast-track Ba­sotho’s ap­pli­ca­tions for the LSP.

“You will re­mem­ber that po­lice clear­ance is one of the doc­u­ments needed when ap­ply­ing for the spe­cial per­mits and as the LMPS, we are urg­ing Ba­sotho to file their

“how­ever, I am now wor­ried about los­ing my job if I stay in Le­sotho un­til 1 Fe­bru­ary when I can be able to sub­mit my ap­pli­ca­tion for the spe­cial per­mit.

“My em­ployer is ex­pect­ing me at work on 3 Jan­uary and if I don’t go by this date, she will sim­ply look for a re­place­ment,” she said.

“I can’t af­ford to lose this job, and I don’t think I will wait un­til Fe­bru­ary to sub­mit my ap­pli­ca­tion and wait for ap­proval. I am leav­ing this week­end and will come back later to sort out the per­mit is­sue.”

an­other do­mes­tic worker from Qoal­ing, who is em­ployed in Jo­han­nes­burg, also said she would be re­turn­ing to south africa on 2 Jan­uary and then re­turn in Fe­bru­ary for the spe­cial per­mit.

“I have no op­tion but to risk it and go to south africa on satur­day be­cause if I don’t, I won’t have an in­come any­more and my fam­ily is go­ing to suf­fer.

“My doc­u­ments are ready for the spe­cial per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion in Fe­bru­ary, but I can’t po­lice clear­ance ap­pli­ca­tions in their re­spec­tive dis­tricts as soon as pos­si­ble.

“Po­lice clear­ance takes time which is why we are urg­ing those who might need it for the LSP to ap­ply now.

“They don’t need to come to Maseru to do that.”

“We have made ar­range­ments that Ba­sotho work­ing in south africa ap­ply­ing for po­lice clear­ance must be given pri­or­ity as we know that they are go­ing to work and are rac­ing against time.”

ac­cord­ing to se­nior In­spec­tor Molefe, it takes a min­i­mum of two months for the po­lice clear­ance to be is­sued.

“Be­cause we are aware of the ur­gency of the LSP, we want to en­sure that Ba­sotho work­ing in south africa have the clear­ance by 1 Fe­bru­ary when LSP ap­pli­ca­tion pro­cesses be­gin,” he said.

The fast-track, he added, was to en­sure jobs are not af­fected be­cause of de­lays in is­su­ing the clear­ance.

“The LMPS is go­ing to en­gage tem­po­rary staff as per the Po­lice Act 1998 which gives the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice pow­ers to beef up staff if need arises,” se­nior In­spec­tor Molefe said.

“You will re­mem­ber that it is the po­lice’s duty to pre­vent crime and by speed­ing up the clear­ance, we will be help­ing them not to com­mit crime by il­le­gally cross­ing into south africa.”

ap­pli­cants need to pro­duce a na­tional Iden­tity doc­u­ment or birth cer­tifi­cate and in the ab­sence of both, they could bring a let­ter from their re­spec­tive chiefs con­firm­ing their res­i­dency, a pass­port and M100, se­nior In­spec­tor Molefe said.

wait un­til then be­cause it is dif­fi­cult to get an­other job once I lose this one,” she said.

Mean­while, the Min­istry of home affairs has as­sured the mi­grants that the red stamp in their pass­ports was not meant to pre­vent them from cross­ing into south africa again.

“It is an iden­ti­fi­ca­tion South Africa is us­ing to keep the sta­tis­tics of how many Ba­sotho were given amnesty since the ex­er­cise started on 11 de­cem­ber 2015,” Mr Rele­bo­hile Moy­eye said.

Told of Ba­sotho fears that Fe­bru­ary was too late for them to re­turn to their jobs in south africa, Mr Moy­eye said there was noth­ing any­body could do as this was what south african laws stip­u­lated.

“What they should do is go back to get all the nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion es­pe­cially their em­ploy­ment let­ters which will en­able them to ap­ply for the spe­cial per­mits,” Mr Moy­eye said, adding the min­istry would help el­i­gi­ble Ba­sotho in their ap­pli­ca­tions for the spe­cial per­mits.

SA Home Affairs Min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba (left) with Le­sotho Home Affairs Min­is­ter Lekhetho Rakuoane in this Septem­ber pic.

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