Reports from the South African Police Service (SAPS) say the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in the Free State (Hawks) and the Crime Intelligence and Tactical Response Team (TRT), arrested nine Traffic Officials and two civilians for corruption and fraud.
As alleged, the traffic officials and their runners collected bribes from learner drivers who failed their tests and other drivers who didn’t go through the testing processes.
It is said that the suspects, aged between 31 and 55 pocketed thousands of rands.
They were arrested at the Benoni Traffic Department and Secunda Traffic Department during the termination of Project Crocodile.
Project Crocodile was initiated earlier this year to curb fraud and corruption at the Benoni and Secunda Traffic Department.
While seven of the suspects were apprehended in Benoni Traffic Department, two were arrested in Secunda Traffic Department. And the runners, at their trading place in Benoni.
Confirming the arrests, Hawks’ boss, Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza vowed to wholly eradicate fraud and corruption in South Africa.
“How many people are driving with illegal drivers licenses on our roads? How many people have lost their lives because of greedy government officials who want a quick buck disregarding the safety of road users? It cannot be accepted,” Ntlemeza declared.
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Adding that Hawks arrested 26 immigrations at Maseru Border officers last month for disregarded the safety of South Africans; he stressed that the current arrests should send a strong message to corrupt officials.
“…we will continue to leave no stones unturned in fighting serious fraud and corruption in government. Be warned, we will strike when we are least expected and we vow to continue with our work without fear or favor,” he charged.
The suspects are expected to appear before Benoni and Secunda Magistrate Court today. They will be facing charges of fraud and corruption.