Seven traffic officers and four vehicle examiners have been arrested for bribery and corruption in a pre-festive season crackdown in Limpopo.
Members of the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s national traffic anti-corruption unit, in collaboration with the Hawks and Special Investing Unit, pounced on four traffic officers employed by the Limpopo traffic department in Thohoyandou on Tuesday.
Three other traffic officers employed by Makhado Municipality were also arrested in the same operation.
“The seven have been detained at Thohoyandou police station and will appear in court [on Thursday] on allegations that they have been taking bribes from motorists in the Vhembe district,” said RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane.
The arrest follows that of four examiners from a privately-owned vehicle testing station on Monday.
Zwane said the four, who are employed by Maanda-Ashu vehicle testing station, allegedly certified vehicles as roadworthy without conducting the necessary tests on them.
“In one instance, a vehicle that had been impounded by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department was certified as roadworthy while it was parked at the police pound. The arrests mark the culmination of a yearlong investigation initiated after public complaints,” Zwane said.
He said corruption by traffic officers and licensing officials is one of the factors behind the high rate of road traffic crashes and fatalities in the country.
“Limpopo is one of the regions with the highest number of fatalities. Last year, 1 581 deaths were recorded in this province, making it one of the four provinces that contributed to 63.9% of road fatalities. The other provinces that contributed the high number of road deaths were Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape,” Zwane said.
Members of the public are urged to assist the RTMC by reporting suspected bribery, fraud and corruption on 0861 400 800 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. – SAnews.gov.za