The Road Traffic Management Corporation has welcomed the heavy jail terms imposed on five Kwa-Zulu Natal licensing bureau traffic officials who fraudulently assisted scores of motor vehicle learner’s licence applicants to pass their tests in the province.
The Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court sentenced the five examiners attached to the Umngeni licencing department in Howick to direct imprisonment terms ranging from four and eight years.
The five officials were among 19 people who were arrested when the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit of Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Hawks raided Umngeni Local Municipality on 06 March 2018. All officials were charged with fraud following months of investigations which found that examiners were assisting applicants to pass learner licence tests. The examiners used a concealed light emitting device to surreptitiously point the correct answers to the applicants enabling them to pass without knowledge of the rules of the road.
The court found the officials guilty of fraud in November 2020 following a lengthy trial. Sentencing was handed down on Monday as follows:
· Dumisani Nkala – a traffic officer, who was a management representative at the time of his arrest. He was found guilty on 49 counts of fraud and was sentenced to eight years imprisonment suspended for five years due to his health conditions. He was also placed under house arrest for 18 months and ordered to perform community service for 16 hours per month for 12 months of the sentence.
· Lindiwe Xulu, an examiner of driving licences, who was found guilty on 158 counts of fraud was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
· Meshack Ndlovu, a traffic officer, who was found guilty on seven counts was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
· Nkosinathi Zondi, an examiner of driving licences, found guilty on 276 counts was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
· Dumisani Phungula, an examiner of driving licences, who was found guilty on 15 counts of fraud was sentenced to four years imprisonment.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation welcomed the judgement saying it sends a clear message that fraud, corruption and lawlessness will not be tolerated in the sector. All officials had already been dismissed after lengthy disciplinary processes.
RTMC CEO Advocate Makhosini Msibi said: “Those who are committing crime in our licensing must be prepared to do time in prison for their corrupt practices.”