‘This is all just madness!’

2010-03-12 00:00

A REGISTRATION mix-up at the uMshwathi (Wartburg) licence centre is costing an Albert Falls resident R2 000 every month.

When Willem van Greunen went to renew the licences on his two vehicles last year, he was told they would not be updated unless he paid about R4 000 in outstanding licence fees for a Toyota Raider that is registered in his name.

According to Van Greunen, he does not own the 4x4 Raider. “I have never seen this car in my life,” he said.

The Raider’s licence plate is the same as that of a 2x4 Toyota Hilux Van Greunen bought in 1994.

In 2005, Van Greunen transferred the Hilux ownership to his estranged wife, who reregistered it in the Northern Cape.

“Since then, I’ve had no problem. In 2007 I bought my Opel Corsa bakkie and my Opel Astra. I even renewed their licences in 2008 with no problem,” said Van Greunen.

The trouble began last year, when Van Greunen was unable to renew his vehicles’ licences.

Since then, Van Greunen has been unable to use his vehicles as their ­licences have expired. He is forced to hire a bakkie at a cost of R2 000 a month.

A police contact told Van Greunen that the Raider had been reported as stolen last year, and that a VW Polo now has its registration number.

“This is all just madness. I have two functioning cars that I cannot use because they don’t have licence discs, all because of a Raider I don’t even own,” said Van Greunen.

“The people at the licensing department are under the impression that the car was stolen from me, which is not true. I never owned the car,” he said.

Langa Mpongwana of the uMshwathi licence centre said the case has been transferred to the debt control department.

“If money is owing on one vehicle, we cannot renew any other vehicle licences on that person’s name until the debt is paid,” he said.

Mpongwana said he has no knowledge of how vehicles can be registered in incorrect names and that debt control will investigate.

Debt control’s Londeka Zondi said Van Greunen’s case is under investigation. “We are phoning the previous owners of the vehicle and trying to see who owned the vehicle before it was registered under Van Greunen’s name.”

She said the process will take “a month or two”. In the meantime, both Mpongwana and Zondi recommend that Van Greunen pay the R4 000 to free up his assets.

“If the results of the investigation show the vehicle truly does not belong to him, he will be refunded,” said Mpongwana.

But Vishnu Moodley, Van Greunen’s lawyer, has advised Van Greunen against making the payment.

“My lawyer has said the moment I pay the money, I admit that the vehicle belongs to me,” he said.

Van Greunen expressed disappointment at the uMshwathi licence centre’s administration.

“They told me last year to go to the police to get a statement, and they would sort this out. Two months later nothing had happened, and when I went back they had lost the statement,” he said.

“I have been back three times since and they always have a story.”

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