Li­cence cen­tre of­fi­cials in hot wa­ter

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TANKISO MAKHETHA

GAUT­ENG MEC for Trans­port Is­mail Vadi said his de­part­ment was in the process of sus­pend­ing 19 em­ploy­ees work­ing at mo­tor ve­hi­cle regis­ter­ing au­thor­i­ties for fraud amount­ing to R6.2 mil­lion.

Vadi said the em­ploy­ees af­fected were from the Klip­town, Mabopane and Temba of­fices and that his de­part­ment had con­cluded a two-year in­ves­ti­ga­tion into fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties which have plagued the li­cens­ing cen­tres.

He said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was ini­ti­ated af­ter the de­part­ment dis­cov­ered that ghost users were cre­ated through the eNatis sys­tem by two of­fi­cials. Both have since been fired.

Vadi said their modus operandi con­sisted of re­mov­ing an out­stand­ing fee from a client’s pro­file and dump­ing it on an­other per­son’s pro­file.

“The per­son whose pro­file is dumped on would in some in­stances be dead. The of­fi­cial would then re­ceive a bribe from the client whose fines have been trans­ferred or dumped some­where else,” Vadi said.

He added the de­part­ment would be re­in­stat­ing the dumped fines onto the orig­i­nal per­son’s pro­file.

Vadi made the an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day af­ter mayor Her­man Mashaba re­vealed that more of­fi­cials had been ar­rested for fraud and cor­rup­tion.

Vadi ex­plained that the city was aware of the de­part­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion and lauded the mu­nic­i­pal­ity for its ef­forts in curb­ing fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­i­ties. He also de­fended the pro­vin­cial de­part­ment and said it was not us­ing the City of Joburg’s work as the ba­sis for its ar­rests, but was act­ing on years of in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“The mayor has taken the ini­tia­tive, and we don’t have a prob­lem with that, but his ini­tia­tive is merely a con­se­quence of our own in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“We alerted the City of Joburg as early as Oc­to­ber 6, 2015 and the di­rec­tor for li­cens­ing was in­formed that we were pick­ing up a num­ber of pos­si­ble ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and were (go­ing to) get this in­ves­ti­ga­tion go­ing,” he said.

He said Mashaba had acted within his prerog­a­tive by say­ing how many of­fi­cials had been ar­rested.

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