Traffic officers on bribery rap not suspended yet
MSUNDUZI Municipality has confirmed that two traffic officers arrested last week by the Hawks on allegations of corruption, have not yet been suspended.
The City said, however, the policing powers of the two men have been taken away pending further investigations. They will remain at the traffic department but will be on desk duty pending the outcome of inquiries.
Msunduzi traffic officers Welani Zondi (32) and Siphesihle Zulu (26) were arrested by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigations unit members last Tuesday in connection with allegations that they solicited a bribe from a motorist in the Pietermaritzburg area.
They appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Wednesday and were granted R1 000 bail each.
Msunduzi municipal risk manager Kwenza Khumalo told The Witness on Friday the pair had not been suspended yet. He said they had been charged under the Criminal Procedure Act, which he said was an independent process from Msunduzi’s own internal processes.
“As a government institution, we use the Labour Relations Act. At the moment, we have not charged them. We are going to do our own investigation. It is not a scientific investigation and it will not take long.”
Khumalo said they will only decide after the municipality’s own investigation whether to suspend, dismiss or subject the two to a disciplinary hearing.
He said the two men still needed to appear before management to explain what had happened.
The policing powers of the two had been taken away in the meantime and they will not be in a position to issue any fines, he said.
KZN Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said the men were charged for allegedly demanding that a motorist pay a bribe to secure the release of his vehicle, which was impounded. “An undercover operation was conducted and the two were arrested,” he said.
They are charged with corruption for allegedly taking money from the motorist to secure the release of his vehicle.
“... We [Msunduzi] are going to do our own investigation. It is not a scientific investigation and it will not take long.”