Home affairs welcomes visa ruling

Johannesburg - The department of home affairs welcomed on Monday a ruling by the Western Cape High Court setting aside search warrants used for seizure of documents at the offices of immigration lawyers Craig Smith and Associates.

"Judge Dennis Davis declared the search warrants as invalid but granted the department a preservation order, essentially allowing the department to continue with its investigation against lawyers Craig Smith and Associates without the risk of destruction of evidence," said spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete.

Smith's offices located in Cape Town, were raided earlier this month and files and computers were seized.

According to the department, the search had been executed to seize documents supporting allegations of fraud against Smith.

Smith allegedly used his firm to sell work permits, Tshwete said.

The law firm approached the court to have the search warrants declared invalid and set aside.