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Roadworthy saga grows over certificate altered after crash

LEBOGANG SEALE

THE MIDVAAL municipality has admitted to creating a second letter declaring the bus involved in last week’s horror crash roadworthy after the smash.

The first document, dated June 14, showed that bus number 7167C – with registration numbers PVM843GP – had “failed retest” and was recommended for a further retest, along with 24 other Putco buses, on June 21.

A second letter, also reflecting June 14, indicating that the bus had passed the test, was created after the crash.

Municipal spokeswoman Yvonne Müller said yesterday the second letter was created after an official checked on the eNatis system and found that the bus was registered on the system under Putco Ltd on June 14.

According to The Star’s sources, this was done after the horror smash that left 20 dead and more than 50 injured. The identity of the official who created the second letter is known to The Star.

But Müller defended the change, saying: “It is not as if somebody changed it (the letter) unlawfully. It was normal administrative procedure.”

She refused to say why the bus was the only one from the 24 Putco fleet that failed the roadworthiness test whose exam result was altered.

Yesterday, Gauteng Department of Transport spokeswoman Octavia Mamabolo said Putco’s in-house testing centre was operated by an independent company.

Meanwhile, the DA in Gauteng has called on Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi to establish an independent inquiry into testing centre operations and the issuing of roadworthy certificates.

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