Transport MEC lauds arrests

2013-12-12 00:00

THE provincial Transport Department has lauded the raid on a Phoenix-based testing station that saw three men arrested and charged with accepting bribes to pass unroadworthy vehicles.

The men, two of them examiners, were arrested on Tuesday and have been charged with fraud.

Coincidentally, the Phoenix Testing Station passed the truck involved in the Field’s Hill tragedy, albeit 12 months prior to the accident that killed 24 people after plunging into the Joshua Gumede Road/M13 interchange in September.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu called the joint operation between his department and the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit a “swift move” and part of a year-long operation to investigate all vehicle testing stations throughout KZN.

“I can assure you that the department will be serving a notice on the three implicated officials to terminate their accreditation. The department has managed to close 10 testing stations for allegations of fraud and corruption related activities. I have no doubt this [arrest] will send a clear message,” said Mchunu.

He said the suspects had been entrapped in an undercover operation.

“A vehicle with numerous defects was presented for a roadworthiness test at the testing station, and was passed after one official allegedly accepted a bribe,” said Mchunu.

Earlier, Phoenix Testing Station owner Sudesh Ramdas said he would launch an internal investigation and if possible suspend the employees without pay.

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