Driver's licence fraud widespread in KZN: DA

WEB_PHOTO_licence drivers driving_12042013

Gauteng police have denied reports that nearly 40 percent of officers in the province do not have a valid driver's licence. They say the figure is eight percent.

HOWICK - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal has welcomed the arrests of individuals allegedly involved in the issuing of fraudulent learner&39;s licenses at a licensing office in Howick in the Midlands, and has called for more arrests within the provincial transport department.

This comes after 15 people were arrested at the uMngeni Licensing Office in Howick on Tuesday after investigations uncovered rampant corruption involving officials issuing fraudulent learner’s licences.

READ: Four licensing officials arrested for fraud

A joint operation by the Road Traffic Management Corporation&39;s (RTMC) National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit, the Hawks and the KZN Traffic Department led to the arrest of five officials from the licensing office, including two traffic officers, nine learner’s licence applicants, and a cleaner.

The cleaner was arrested after documents and a large sum of money she allegedly could not account for were found in her possession.

DA KZN spokesperson on transport Rafeek Shah said that the arrests were long overdue.

READ: Tshwane to suspend licensing officials over alleged corruption

"The DA has consistently raised the issue of widespread corruption at KZN’s testing centres. Such activities have horrific consequences with illegally acquired drivers’ licenses being a significant contributing factor in the high crash rates in the province," Shah said.

"The issue of corruption at motor licensing bureaus and testing stations is also not confined to the Howick station, it is endemic at most stations in our province. Nor is corruption restricted to stations alone, it is also practiced by some RTI officials during law enforcement operations on our roads."

Shah said that the DA would continue to raise these and other concerns through the various channels available to them in order to weed out the corruption so prevalent within the system.