Traffic chief in court for fraud

2012-03-16 00:00

THE uMhlathuze Municipality traffic chief appeared before the Richards Bay Magistrate’s Court yesterday accused of fraud.

Thabo Mavimbela (40) was arrested, charged and released on R1 000 bail on Wednesday.

The charge relates to his allegedly fraudulent usage of a sick note on the letterhead of a Pietermaritzburg psychiatrist. The psychiatrist was not available for comment yesterday.

Mavimbela’s superior, uMhlathuze traffic deputy director of licensing Zolile Poswa, opened the case this week.

The case has been postponed to April 5. Mavimbela has not been suspended.

A source in the municipality known to The Witness said there had been a breakdown in trust between Mavimbela and Poswa.

“This is not how such matters should be dealt with. There should have been an internal hearing first. It is highly unlikely that a man of Mavimbela’s position would knowingly use a fraudulent doctor’s note just to get some time off. There is something else at work here.”

The fraud allegation allegedly relates to two weeks’ stress leave in January and February.

Mavimbela has been under scrutiny since he was appointed traffic chief on June 1, 2010, despite his traffic officer credentials having lapsed.

Shortly after taking up the post he failed his refresher course, technically barring him from carrying out any traffic duties. He passed the same test in January 2011.

The Independent Municipal Workers’ Union claims his appointment was irregular.

The matter will be heard before the local government bargaining council in April.

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