8 December 2023

[Source: GettyImages]

By Mahlako Komane

A woman identified as Priscilla in Mogaung village, located just outside Groblersdal in Sekhukhune, Limpopo, has come under scrutiny and faced accusations of orchestrating marriages between Pakistani nationals and multiple women within her community.

This revelation has prompted several women to step forward and share their accounts, alleging that Priscilla had arranged marriages between them and Pakistani shop owners.

Rebone Shabir, aged (36) is among those who have accused Priscilla of involvement in arranging such unions. Shabir claims that Priscilla approached her with an offer to marry a Pakistani shop owner in exchange for a monthly fee of R300, which was to be paid until her death. The arrangement led Shabir and Priscilla to travel to the Johannesburg Home Affairs office, accompanied by several shop owners.

Shabir explained, “I agreed with them. We then went to Johannesburg, where they promised me that they would provide me with R300, which they promptly paid when we returned. In the following month, they paid another R300. Subsequently, they disappeared, and since then, my ID book and my children’s birth certificates have gone missing. When I visited Home Affairs, they requested a marriage certificate, which I have no knowledge of.”

While Shabir received R600 over two months for entering into a marriage of convenience, Gloria Ratau, aged 49, reported receiving only R120 to become Mrs. Kazim.

Ratau shared her experience, saying, “A lady came to my house and told me about a job, and I signed those documents. I went to Home Affairs to obtain a new ID book and replace the temporary birth certificate for my child. Home Affairs informed me that I was married to a foreign national named Muhammed. The day I signed the documents, I was given R120, which means this R120 is what led me to marry a foreign national.”

Following the stories from these women and others who claim that Priscilla approached them for similar arrangements with other shop owners, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) conducted an investigation and located Priscilla in the Avalon section of Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

Priscilla, who operates under various aliases, including Priscilla Mashaba in Mogaung, Shakeerah Pediah on Facebook, and Priscilla Abbas by marriage, did not deny the allegations when confronted.

She explained that her husband had approached her to find women for arranged marriages, primarily for citizenship purposes. Priscilla maintained that all the women had willingly agreed to these arrangements.

Priscilla stated, “My husband came to me and said he is looking for some ladies to secure citizenship. They’re going to receive money every month, and I then find those ladies, and they agree after the marriage.”

The Department of Home Affairs has expressed concern over the matter and announced its intention to conduct a thorough investigation into the marriages in question.

Siya Qoza, a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs, stated, “Our records concerning the marriages of the two ladies that you inquired about suggest a need for further investigation.”

The case has been referred to law enforcement, and the Department of Home Affairs is actively pursuing its investigation into the alleged fraudulent marriages.- SABC-News

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