Traffic cops in hot water over bribe

2010-05-14 00:00

TWO women Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) officers allegedly solicited a bribe from foreign motorists in the midlands on Wednesday.

The crime, which was allegedly committed on the R74 between Bergville and Winterton, happened less than two weeks after three other RTI officers were arrested for a similar offence in Vryheid.

Transport Department spokesperson Lungile Ndlovu said the two women officers had set up a roadblock where they stopped a minibus carrying a German couple who run a bus company in South Africa, their local interpreter and their tour guide. They were en route to Beaufort West in the Western Cape.

Ndlovu said it is unclear what offence the driver of the vehicle had committed.

“Through the interpreter, [the officers] said they could not allow him to continue with his journey until he paid them R1 500. But the couple said they only had dollars, a credit card and R300.

“After the husband had handed the R300 to one of the officers, his wife asked why he did not ask for a receipt. The husband said a receipt was not necessary, but she insisted that they go to the nearest police station to report the matter,” Ndlovu said.

Later the police took the two officers to Weenen police station where the couple identified one of them. “They both denied the offence, but the interpreter also identified both of them,” she said.

Ndlovu said she could not understand why the two corrupt officers had not been arrested after they were identified.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that a case of corruption has been opened, but could not explain why there were no arrests.

The Vryheid officers, Phakamani Khumalo, Vusumuzi Vincent Mathe and Thokozani Khoza, were each granted R2 000 bail by the Vryheid Magistrate’s Court. They allegedly took a R300 bribe from a minibus transporting government officials on April 30.

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