The sentencing of five Howick licencing officials who fraudulently assisted motor vehicle learner’s licence applicants to pass tests has now been adjourned to March.
It was supposed to take place on Wednesday in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court but an adjournment was requested by the defence so that pre-sentencing reports can be obtained.
The five officials were among 19 people who were arrested when the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit of Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Hawks raided the uMngeni Municipality in Howick in June 2018.
The accused are:
- 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.
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 RTMC said officials were charged with fraud following months of investigations by the National Traffic Anti-Corruption unit which found that examiners were helping applicants pass learner licence tests using small laser pointers.
“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, Roger Everton, and a senior administration clerk, Mrs Wayeeda Mansoor, are still on trial,” said Zwane.