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Sat Dec 03 04:24:56 SAST 2016

Hawks swoop on rogue traffic officials

GRAEME HOSKEN | 2016-10-19 06:36:32.0
Handcuffs. File Photo.
Image by: SUHAIB SALEM / REUTERS

Eleven people - including nine Gauteng and Mpumalanga traffic officials - were arrested in a police raid, bringing to an end a year-long countrywide anti-corruption operation.

The arrests were carried out yesterday by the Hawks in Benoni on the East Rand and in Secunda in Mpumalanga.

Operation Crocodile was aimed at clamping down on rogue traffic licensing officials selling drivers' licences at the Benoni and Secunda traffic departments.

Police said the 11 had been charged with fraud and corruption.

Hawks spokesman Captain S'fiso Nyakane said the 11, including"runners", had allegedly pocketed thousands of rands by selling licences to people who had either failed their tests or were desperate to obtain a driver's licence but had not undergone driving tests.

He said seven of the suspects were arrested while on duty inBenoni, while two were arrested at their posts in Secunda.

"The others, the runners, were arrested near the Benoni traffic department," said Nyakane.

He said such greed by government officials could not be tolerated.

"How many people are driving with illegal drivers' licences on our roads? How many people have lost their lives because of greedy government officials who want a quick buck [while] disregarding the safety of road users?"

The suspects are expected to appear in court today.

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