Justice Project seeks clarity on e-toll prosecutions

2013-11-29 09:42

The intended processes for prosecuting those who do not pay Gauteng e-tolls are unclear, Justice Project SA (JPSA) has said.

This lack of clarity on the matter from the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and the transport department led to the public and the media approaching JPSA for this information, spokesperson Howard Dembovsky said in a statement today.

There had also been a “deafening silence” from the National Prosecuting Authority on the matter.

“Unfortunately, we have been unable to provide much more than an educated guess on this matter, since the intended prosecution of e-toll transgressions does not appear to be following the same procedures as the prosecution of other road traffic and toll transgressions...”

So far, only an undefined debt collection process prior to prosecution had been mentioned, Dembovsky said.

“Due to the unfortunate dissemination of confusing information, we have been left with little choice but to instruct our attorneys to write to the relevant authorities to seek clarity on the matter...”

If this was not forthcoming by noon today, JPSA’s attorneys would approach the high court for clarity.

The letter was addressed to Sanral CEO Nazir Alli, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, and National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana.

The letter asked for details of the exact legal and administrative processes that would be followed for the collection of e-tolls and against those who did not pay.

JPSA also wanted to know whether failure to buy an e-tag would be a criminal offence, whether such motorists would be arrested and, if so, what legislation backed this. In addition, whether conviction for not paying e-tolls could result in a prison sentence.

It also asked whether nonpayment could result in motorists being blacklisted.

Last week, Peters announced that e-tolling on Gauteng highways would come into effect on December 3.

The move has sparked widespread opposition, with trade unions and political parties vowing to explore all possible avenues to resist e-tolling.

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