Ten arrested in Limpopo for roadworthy certificate 'fraud'
An owner and nine officials from two privately owned vehicle-testing stations have been arrested in Limpopo on allegations that they fraudulently provided roadworthy certificates for vehicles they never tested, the Road Traffic Management Corporation said.
Members of the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit, a division of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the Hawks and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) raided the testing stations on Monday and arrested the suspects. They are expected to appear in court on Thursday.
One of the vehicles was a minibus taxi that ploughed into three children in Daveyton on December 19 2017, leaving one child critically injured. The collision happened two months after the vehicle had been certified as roadworthy by a privately owned vehicle station in Lebowakgomo.
Traffic officials discontinued the vehicle after the crash. However, a month later another roadworthy certificate was allegedly issued by a different private vehicle station in Mokopane.
Evidence showed that the vehicle was undergoing repairs at a panel beating shop in Daveyton when the roadworthy certificate was issued, said the RTMC.
More than 50 examiners of vehicles, including two owners, have been arrested at various privately owned vehicle-testing stations since the start of Operation Corolla in October. It aims to address fraud and corruption relating to the issuing of roadworthy certificates, said the RTMC.
“Demand for roadworthy certificates is high at this time of the year, as public transport and freight vehicle owners plan to put more vehicles on the road to deal with increased demand for transportation.”
The CEO of RTMC, Advocate Makhosini Msibi, warned the public and freight transport operators that they would be held personally accountable should their vehicles be found to be operating on public roads in an unroadworthy state.
“Chapter 4 of the National Land Transportation Act of 2009 specifically stipulates that the holder of an operating licence or permit has a duty to, at all times, keep the vehicle in a safe and roadworthy condition. This is further amplified in Chapter 6 of National Road Traffic Act, where it is stated that the operator has a duty to conduct his or her operations with due care to the safety of the public. The law further requires the operator to exercise proper control over the driver to ensure compliance with all the rules of the road. Failure to comply with these regulations constitutes an offence and operators will be held accountable,” he said.
Members of the public are called upon to play their role in ensuring roads are safe during this festive season by reporting bribery, fraud and corruption on 0861 400 800.