Net closes on offenders

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Bronwynne Jooste

CAPE Town traffic authorities are cracking down on the city’s 10 worst traffic offenders, who collectively have more than R1 million worth of outstanding warrants between them.

Members of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) have been working to trace the biggest culprits and started arresting some of the top offenders, mostly taxi drivers, at their homes on Wednesday night.

The top 10 owed R1,2m in fines, with 1 396 warrants among them.

It marked the start of a city-wide operation, dubbed “Operation Payback”, to trace the top 100 offenders.

For proxies (these refer to company fleets), the top 10 companies owed R2,8m, emanating from 8 992 arrest warrants.

One offender is already behind bars in Pollsmoor awaiting trial for armed robbery. The taxi driver from Athlone owes the city R40 000.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith announced this week that a team of researchers was working to trace serial offenders. These are motorists who owe R650m from 1,5 million fines with warrants.

Earlier this year, Smith handed the provincial Department of Transport and Public Works a list of the top 100 public trans- port offenders. Each had many outstanding warrants of arrest for traffic offences.

Smith said Transport MEC Robin Carlisle had then approached the offenders for reasons why their licences should not be withdrawn. Only five had responded and “took actions to remedy the situation”.

The city would use “admin marks” on the national e-Natis system to bar those on the list from renewing their licences or vehicle registration until they dealt with their outstanding fines.

The top 100 offenders have already been “marked” and officers are working their way through the rest of the database.

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