Trio in court over illegal licences

THREE Mpumalanga traffic department officials appeared in court yesterday for issuing illegal licences.

THREE Mpumalanga traffic department officials appeared in court yesterday for issuing illegal licences.

The trio, Precilla Namane, Essop Seedat and Ellen Willemse, were arrested at the Steve Tshwete local municipality in Middelburg on Wednesday.

Their arrest brings to five the number of officers and cashiers arrested for selling licences to student drivers in a fortnight.

The first two officers, contracted to the Lydenburg local municipality and stationed at the local vehicle testing and drivers licensing centre, as well as the owner of a local driving school were arrested for selling Code 10 and Code 14 licenses for R3000 and R5000 respectively.

The Mpumalanga commercial branch unit arrested the trio for selling learners licences for R200.

Captain Leonard Hlathi of the Mpumalanga organised crime unit said the the three "used the infrastructure numbers of other examiners and even forged their signatures to produce the documents".

He said the system displays that the "applicant was tested, but in actual fact the person never made an appointment".

People who wanted licences would also go to the officials' homes and complete application forms to be processed the following day at work.

Hlathi added that the corruption shocked officials whose particulars were used to issue the licences. "Others were not even at work the day the licences were issued."

Documents belonging to the municipality were found at the homes of two officials while others were found in their handbags.

Hlathi reiterated his call for those motorists who obtained their drivers licences fraudulently to come forward to avoid being prosecuted.

The trio are expected to appear again in court on June 18.

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