Registrar General Clemence Masango said that his department has received complaints about corruption but the complainants will later refuse to talk.
Masango believes that the complainants could have been bribed so that they refuse to talk, and he promised to protect the whistle-blowers. He said:
There have been complaints that there is corruption. Yes, corruption is a reality and I will not pretend that there is no corruption.
But I also have problems with people who make these complaints and then when we approach them for assistance suddenly they don’t want to talk.
… if it’s a question of protecting the source of the informant that we will do that is at the best of our ability for as long as I am there.
There have been allegations of massive corruption at the Registrar General’s office, with citizens being forced to fork out as much as US$300 for their passports to be processed expeditiously.
The problem of corruption has been exacerbated by the department’s failure to provide passports for applications, with the backlog now hovering above 300 000.