THE MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Bheki Ntuli, welcomed the sentencing of a former principal administrative clerk at the Howick Driver Licencing Testing Centre (DLTC) who was found guilty of fraud by the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court last week.Thandazile Shelembe was arrested by the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit and the KZN Hawks on nine charges of fraud on June 5. Shelembe fraudulently captured information of applicants onto the eNaTis system without the applicants completing the application forms and in their absence, which is a contravention of the National Road Traffic Act and Regulations. She also captured payments for the Learners Licence tests and secured the test dates in the absence of the applicants, which again is contrary to legislation.Shelembe was fined R9 000 or twelve months imprisonment, in addition to four years imprisonment suspended for five years on condition that the accused is not convicted of fraud or theft committed during the period of suspension for which imprisonment is imposed without the option of a fine. She is further ordered to perform community service for a period of 16 hours a month for the first 24 months of the sentence.Shelembe will be placed under house arrest for the full duration of the sentence and is ordered to perform free community service for a period of 64 hours per month. In addition to that, she must refrain from using alcohol for the duration of the sentence and must notify the commissioner or his delegate on any change of her address.Ntuli said he welcomes the sentence and believes that the sentence will send a strong message. “I welcome the decision of the court to sentence Shelembe, although we would have preferred a harsher sentence. “It is very disturbing to see that we are being sabotaged by employees in the DLTCs when we try to curb fatalities on our roads. To hear that Shelembe captured false eye test results on the system is a clear indication that our efforts to fight fraud and corruption in DLTCs are undermined.“Last week, a suspect was caught red-handed writing a Learners Licence test under false pretences and it clear that he worked closely with people like Shelembe. Upon investigation it was found that the suspect issued these learners licences in return for monetary payment to the value of R3 000 per learner’s licence,” he asserted.Ntuli said they will be very harsh towards corrupt officials and will continue to work closely with the Hawks and other law enforcement agencies in rooting out corrupt officials. He also commended the judiciary for the positive judgement, which will set a precedent moving forward on cases of fraud and corruption in DLTCs. This, he said, will send a strong message to employees who are involved in corrupt activities as their actions are contributing to road fatalities caused by incompetent drivers.— Supplied.