Traffic cop sentenced for helping learner licence applicants pass

2020-02-06 20:12

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A traffic officer convicted of fraudulently assisting learner licence applicants to pass their tests at the uMngeni licencing department in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, has been sentenced to four years behind bars or a fine of R10 000.

Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson Simon Zwane said the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court said S’khumbuzo Mkhulise, 47, deserved direct imprisonment for his crime, but took into account that he pleaded guilty and had shown remorse.

Mkhulise was arrested in March 2018 in a raid conducted by the corporation's National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit and members of the Hawks at the licencing department.

Fifteen other people - including learner licence examiners and learner licence applicants – were apprehended on fraud allegations.

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Following further investigations, a driving school operator, former traffic chief and administration clerk were also arrested.

"It has been alleged that learner licence examiners at the department unlawfully and fraudulently assisted learner licence applicants to pass learner licence tests. It has been established that in one month - January 2018 - more than 500 applicants unlawfully benefitted from the fraud perpetrated by officials at the department," Zwane said in a statement.

He told News24 the applicants had paid between R1 500 and R2 000, whereafter they were given the answers.

"The uMngeni local municipality has dismissed the accused officials following lengthy disciplinary processes. Their trial is still pending at the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court."

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Mkhulise pleaded guilty in a disciplinary hearing and was dismissed in September.

He had worked as a traffic officer for 15 years before being appointed as an examiner. He was arrested on his second day in his new job.

In addition to the prison sentence or fine, the court also placed him under correctional supervision for three years. Mkhulise will be required to remain under house arrest, do community service and undergo a rehabilitation programme, Zwane said.

The corporation's CEO Makhosini Msibi said Mkhulise will never be able to work in law enforcement again, adding "one rotten apple has been removed from the system".

"Although we had wished for a harsher sentence, we, however, accept the outcome of the court," Msibi said.

Read more on:    durban  |  corruption  |  crime
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