As the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport intensifies the fight against alarming levels of truck accidents on the roads, the department has dismissed two traffic police officers who are allegedly involved in soliciting bribes from truck drivers.
The two members of the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) based in Newcastle were dismissed by the Department after a long investigation which dates back to 2018/19.
The two were caught in possession of money believed to have been obtained through the proceeds of crime, whereby they were taking money from truck drivers and allowing them to continue despite violations.
The Department finalized the matter last month and issued them with a dismissal notice. Their case is going to be rolled in court after it was temporarily struck off the roll pending more investigation and evidence.
The dismissed traffic officers were arrested after the work of a task team including the Public Transport Enforcement Services, SAPS Crime Intelligence and Newcastle SAPS.
The investigation in Newcastle on the allegations of irregularities in the Driver Licence Testing Centre (DLTC) has to date, resulted in the 6 examiners being charged.
Some of them are charged for issuing learner’s licences to foreign nationals, which the Department has since cancelled.
Their arrest follows the arrest of three suspects in Hammersdale a week ago, who are believed to be acting as jockeys, who are writing on behalf of the applicants in exchange for money.
Commenting on these developments, MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Sipho Hlomuka said the department is taking a tough stance against traffic officials who are involved in taking bribes.
“Those traffic officers who are accepting bribes are undermining provincial efforts of fighting the scourge of fatalities on the road and have no space in our department. The fact that the two of them are now dismissed is an indication that we are very serious about rooting out rotten apples within our ranks. Worse, we have taken a position against truck drivers considering the alarming levels of accidents. As we are approaching the Festive Season, we are firmly focused in dealing with drivers who are violating the law. Our plan is to reduce the levels of crashes and fatalities. To achieve this, we need ethical, dedicated traffic officials with high moral values,” said Hlomuka.
The Department also appeals to members of the public to report all police officers who are asking for bribes during the course of doing their work.
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