Four officials – three vehicle examiners and a cashier – were arrested in Soweto on Thursday in an anti-corruption crackdown dubbed Operation Domino for allegedly facilitating the issuing of fraudulent roadworthy certificates to vehicles that had not been tested.
The four officials were arrested during a raid of the premises of Innovative Roadworthy Centre in Midway‚ Soweto‚ by a joint team of law enforcement officers comprising the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit‚ the SAPS’ organised crime unit and the Gauteng Traffic compliance unit.
“Hundreds of roadworthy test sheets bearing a passed stamp and bearing the signature of the cashier‚ were found on the premises. Particulars of applicants and results of tests done on vehicles have not been filled on the forms.
Attempts were also made to conceal some of the test sheets behind cupboards by law enforcement officers found them when they searched the premises‚” the RTMC said.
“The four officials are facing charges under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act which carries a sentence of between three and 18 years. Steps will be taken to close the roadworthy centre down‚” the RTMC added.
It said the suspects are expected to appear at the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court on Monday for a bail hearing.
“Vehicles that were tested at this station will be recalled and retested. Those found to be un-roadworthy will be impounded and their owners may be arrested‚” the RTMC said.
It added that arrests related to road traffic corruption were expected to increase in the coming weeks as law enforcement officers intensify their pre-festive season operation to address all known factors that lead to road accident fatalities.
Un-roadworthy vehicle contribute more than 10% of road crashes on South African roads each year‚ it said.