Free State traffic cop fined a 'lenient' R10,000 for demanding a bribe

A Free State traffic officer was caught in a sting after demanding a bribe from a public transport operator.
A Free State traffic officer was caught in a sting after demanding a bribe from a public transport operator.
Image: 123RF/jirkaejc

A Free State traffic officer has been fined R10,000 for demanding a bribe from a public transport operator.

Tshepiso Confidence Ramatlakane, according to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), was on Tuesday sentenced to a fine of R10,000 and a further five years’ imprisonment.

The latter sentence was suspended for five years on condition that she was not found guilty of corruption during the period of suspension.

The RTMC said it was disappointed with the sentence, which was not harsh enough.

“The RTMC is not entirely satisfied with the sentence. We believe that suspended sentences in cases of traffic officer corruption do not send a strong enough message. We prefer direct imprisonment in these circumstances to send a strong message that corruption within the law enforcement sector will not be tolerated.

“We have taken this position because we see the devastating impact of corruption daily on the roads. South Africa has unacceptably high levels of road fatalities and corruption is one of the contributing factors to the carnage,” the corporation said.

Ramatlakane, the RTMC said, was arrested after a public transport operator complained that two traffic officers had stopped her vehicle, confiscated her driving licence and the operating disc, and impounded the car.

“The complainant said Ramatlakane had demanded R5,000 to release the vehicle and return the documents. The complainant offered R2,000 but the officer revised the demand to R3,000.

“The complainant approached the police and a sting operation was set up. Ramatlakane was arrested immediately after receiving the bribe and the money was found in her possession,” said the corporation.

The traffic officer pleaded guilty to a charge of corruption on Tuesday and was sentenced on the same day.

“Members of the public are urged to join the ongoing campaign against fraud and corruption in the traffic sector by not paying bribes and reporting such incidents on 0861 400 800 or by e-mail to: Ntacu@rtmc.co.za. WhatsApp messages can be sent to 083 293 7989.”