Eastern Cape councillor nabbed for issuing illegal travel permits

The ward councillor in question reportedly made photocopies from the 50 original travel permits issued each councillor.
The ward councillor in question reportedly made photocopies from the 50 original travel permits issued each councillor.
Image: 123RF/Atit Phetmuangtong

An Eastern Cape ward councillor has been released on warning after it was discovered that he has been unlawfully dishing out travel permits.

This came into light on Monday when police who were stationed at one of the checkpoints in Matatiele found out that a number of permits have been signed by one councillor.

Municipal spokesperson Olwethu Gwanya said the municipality has since decided that there will no longer be permits issued by councillors.

"There were so many permits issued by one councillor and this was discovered at the checkpoint around Matatiele. The municipality is now conducting an internal investigation on this matter. It has also been decided that only the police stations will issue travel permits."

A councillor who wanted to remain anonymous said a ward councillor who was given 50 permits made duplicates and people are now walking freely.

"These councillors are taking advantage of the vulnerable people instead of helping government to curb Covid-19 by reducing the number of people travelling from their villages to town or those who wanted to travel outside Matatiele. They saw the lockdown as a business venture for them," he said.

Councillor Nomasomi Mshuqwana said ward councillors were each given 50 travel permits forms.

"The permits were to help a person in case they wanted to visit a doctor or if there was something they wanted to do in town. We have different checkpoints where police are stationed and it was discovered that a number of permits were signed by one ward councillor," Mshuqwana said.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brig Tembinkosi Kinana said police were doing their own investigations into the matter.

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