More fraud and corruption arrests imminent
25 Nov 2011
As part of a comprehensive campaign to ensure a more efficient and effective Road Traffic Management System, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has warned that more arrests are imminent across the country to combat fraud and corruption.
“As the Department of Transport, we have adopted a zero tolerance stance towards any form of fraud and corruption. Corruption thrives when there is inefficiency, and we must remove the necessity to be corrupt. We are particularly concerned about bribery relating to traffic officers, as this corrupt practice compromises the good work being done to improve road safety and deal with lawlessness on our roads.
Therefore, both those who offer and those accepting bribes must be arrested. Road Safety Councils must also play an active role in the fight against corruption.
“Over the past few years, there have been numerous arrests, convictions, dismissals and de-registrations of government officials as well as private individuals with regards to fraud and corruption. Several Vehicle and Driver Licensing Testing Centres have also been subsequently shut down. More arrests are imminent,” said the Minister.
Last Thursday (17 November) in Johannesburg, a traffic official and two others were arrested for allegedly taking an estimated R5 million in bribes to cancel summonses served on speeding motorists.
On 29 October, a driver who offered members of the National Traffic Police (NTP) a R40 bribe for overloading in Johannesburg was arrested.
On 28 October, members of the NTP arrested a Mozambican national on the Golden Highway in Johannesburg who offered them a R20 bribe for not being in possession of a valid driving licence.
On 16 October, a traffic officer attached to the NTP was arrested for bribery and corruption in Pretoria East. The officer allegedly accepted a R100 bribe from a motorist on 15 October. The motorist was also arrested for bribing a traffic officer.
On 20 October, Minister Ndebele and Gauteng Transport MEC Ismail Vadi visited the Langlaagte Driving Licence Testing Centre (DLTC) in Johannesburg, as part of a series of unannounced visits by Minister Ndebele to Licensing Centres around the country.
In Gauteng, 178 investigations are being conducted at DLTCs by the South African Police Service (SAPS)/Hawks focusing on the conduct of traffic officers as well as driving schools. These investigations are at an advanced stage, and cuts across 15 DLTCs in the province.
Of these, 61 cases are specifically linked to DLTCs and Vehicle Testing Stations and involve the following types of incidents or behaviour: people who failed tests are passed by examiners or officials; eye tests not conducted; candidates passed in absentia; and impersonating a candidate, where the driving school gets someone else, other than the candidate, to write the learner driver test or do the driving test, and examiners allowing such irregular conduct.
Furthermore, the Department of Community Safety in Gauteng has conducted 12 audits of testing documentation and 36 physical inspections of DLTCs and Vehicle Testing Stations. The department has cancelled 2,373 licences or Professional Driver Permits due to these being obtained illegally, fraudulently or due to physical incapacity of the person.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 20 people were arrested during February 2011 on charges of fraud and corruption at the Mandeni Licence Testing Centre.
Other provinces are also busy with their own investigations into fraudulent activities, and have already handed over evidence to the SAPS for further investigation.
“As government, we want to assure South Africans that we are going all out to ensure efficient service at all Vehicle and Driving Licence Testing Centres in the country. Democratic rights means public servants must treat citizens with respect and dignity, and citizens must not accept shoddy service. We are not only a democratic government, but a democratic society where citizens must know their rights and hold government officials to account.
Efficient and friendly service is non-existent at many of our Licensing Centres and this must change. There are pockets of excellence, but excellence should be the norm at every Licensing Centre. The public deserves efficient, polite service and service with a smile. Someone’s entire day should not be spoilt simply because a licensing official was arrogant and rude. We are also appealing to the public to report any traffic-related corrupt activity to the National Traffic Call Centre on 0861 400 800,” the Minister said.
Cell: 083 644 4050
Issued by: Department of Transport
25 Nov 2011
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