The Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court is expected to hand down sentences to five KwaZulu-Natal licensing officials who fraudulently assisted scores of motor vehicle learner’s licence applicants to pass their tests.
The five officials were part of 19 people who were arrested when the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit of Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Hawks raided Umngeni Local Municipality in Howick in June 2018.
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The court found the five guilty of fraud in November 2020 following a lengthy trial. Their conviction followed the five-year sentences handed down to 10 motor vehicle learner’s licence applicants in 2019. An examiner of driving licences, Skhumbuzo Mkhulise, was found guilty and sentenced to four years imprisonment or a R10 000 fine in February last year.
Simon Zwane, spokesperson for the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said sentences are expected to be handed down on Wednesday to Dumisani Nkala, a traffic officer who was a management representative at the time of his arrest and was found guilty on 49 counts of fraud; Lindiwe Xulu, an examiner of driving licences, who was found guilty on 158 counts of fraud; Meshack Ndlovu, a traffic officer, who was found guilty on seven counts; Nkosinathi Zondi, an examiner of driving licences, found guilty on 276 counts, and Dumisani Phungula, an examiner of driving licences, who was found guilty on 15 counts of fraud.
Zwane said the officials were charged with fraud following months of investigations by the National Traffic Anti-Corruption unit which found that examiners were helping applicants to pass their learner licence tests.
“The examiners used a concealed light emitting device to surreptitiously point [out] the correct answers to the applicants enabling them to pass without knowledge of the rules of the road.
“All the officials have already been dismissed after lengthy disciplinary processes. A former manager, Mr Roger Everton, and a senior administration clerk, Mrs Wayeeda Mansoor, are still on trial,” said Zwane.
He said a process has now been put in place to follow-up on more than 500 identified individuals who benefited from the fraudulent activities of the officials.