Failed driver wants her ‘bribe money’ back

2014-06-01 15:00

A teacher from Soweto is fuming after the money she claims she gave her driving instructor to bribe officials failed to secure her a driver’s licence.

Sheila Raphunga says that Lunga Pama, a pastor, promised to get her licence “nomakanjani” (at any expense). Now, the two are trading allegations, and Pama’s wife, who is a deputy director with the City of Johannesburg, has weighed in to support her husband’s side of the story.

Raphunga said that Pama promised that R4?500 in cash would guarantee her a licence. “He asked for R4?500, which I paid him in cash on April 25. I don’t have receipts of this, but on my bank statement it shows that I withdrew R5?000 at Nedbank in Dobsonville.

“He said the R4?500 would cover the eye test, use of the truck on testing day and unlimited driving lessons.

“He said from the money I paid him, R2?000 would go to the examiners at Florida [testing station] to ensure that I passed the driving test,” she said.

On the day Raphunga was meant to go with Pama for her eye test, her pupils were writing a test and she couldn’t get away. He allegedly assured her he would just buy the test on her behalf.

“The day I went to book for the driving test, I saw that my file had a completed eye test that I had never done,” she said.

On May 6, Raphunga failed her driving test after rolling on a hill start.

She says this was proof that no bribe had been paid and she asked Pama to give R2?000 back to her. He allegedly gave her R1?000, saying the people he’d paid the rest of the money to would not return it.

“He gave me R1?000 back in front of the others who had also failed. A lady from the Eastern Cape who had failed too coughed up more money to buy the date of an eighth test.”

Pama confirmed that Raphunga was a client and told City Press he was opening a criminal case of harassment and intimidation against her for messages she sent to his wife, Nondumiso Pama.

Nondumiso later called City Press, saying she knew nothing of her husband’s alleged involvement in corruption.

“I know Sheila because my husband brought her to me so I could help her buy a car. She said she was blacklisted and I run a franchise called Ubuntu Connect. But she started sending me messages that my husband should start acting like a pastor and that he should pay her back. I told her I’m a director and don’t need her money.”

Raphunga said: “I don’t want to get anyone into trouble. I just want my money back.”

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