JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) on Thursday said it had complied with the public protector's proposed remedial action for issuing infringement notices via ordinary mail instead of registered mail.
"JMPD has subsequently placed an apology in eight mainstream newspapers circulating in Johannesburg," Director Gerrie Gernicke told reporters in Johannesburg.
On December 18, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said in a report the JMPD acted improperly, when it sent fines by ordinary post instead of registered mail.
The fines, sent by metro police for the period August 2010 to December 21, 2012, did not comply with the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (Aarto) Act, Madonsela said in her report.
"The acts of the JMPD accordingly constitute improper conduct and maladministration," she said at the time.
Madonsela's report, "A Matter of Interpretation", followed complaints lodged in July 2010 and in June 2011.
The public protector recommended that the metro police chief, in consultation with the city manager, issue a formal apology to be printed in all newspapers in circulation in Johannesburg.
Gernicke apologised to the public.
"JMPD accordingly apologises to the public for issuing Aarto infringement notices by ordinary post instead of registered mail in contravention of section 30," he said.
"I can assure the public that since 22 December 2012, all such notices are being issued via registered mail at a cost of R10 million per month."
The apology adverts would appear in newspapers from the week of March 23.
Gernicke said the adverts cost over R200,000.
The JMPD would give Madonsela a final update on Friday to indicate that it had complied with her recommendations.
Gernicke said members of the public who had paid fines received by ordinary mail were not entitled to a refund.
"Once you've paid a fine you have pleaded guilty... the public protector made it clear that once you've pleaded guilty you can't apply for a refund.
"Paying was proof enough that the fine was received."
Those who had not paid fines received by ordinary mail, could plead their fines in terms of section 30 of the Aarto act, Gernicke said.