Roads agency account hacked for R8.5m
THE Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has been fleeced of R8.5 million by hackers who hacked into its bank account.
This was revealed by auditor-general Kimi Makwetu in Parliament when the roads agency tabled its annual report.
RTMC spokesman Simon Zwane yesterday confirmed that the money had been stolen from their bank account by hackers.
He said five people, including a couple from Pretoria, were arrested for fraud and corruption.
The five people are believed to be part of a syndicate, and they are currently on trial in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court.
The alleged fraudsters made 21 transfers from the RTMC bank account into various other accounts.
Some of the people on trial have pleaded guilty to the charges, and the police are still looking for other members of the syndicate.
Makwetu said despite being defrauded of R8.5m, the agency managed to recoup some of the cash.
“An amount of R4.3m has since been recovered, while the balance was written off as irrecoverable,” said Makwetu.
In his remarks on the annual report, RTMC board chairman Zola Majavu said they needed to tighten controls to prevent fraud and corruption in the organisation.
“The unqualified audit opinion that the auditor-general expressed on the financial performance of the corporation bears testimony to the hard work that has been done to ensure that the RTMC is prudent in managing its funds, and utilises the resources placed at its disposal with extreme care and diligence, enabling it to achieve its strategic goals,” said Majavu.
He said they were pleased with the agency’s financial performance.
“However, as the audit shows, there are many tasks that still have to be accomplished. In the year ahead, we will have to continue the work we have started to tighten controls, improve administration practices and organisational performance,” he said.
The RTMC has in the past come under fire from the opposition over its role in road traffic management amid the carnage on the roads.
The more than 14 000 people killed on South African roads every year costs the state R306 billion.
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said in her budget speech in Parliament in May that South Africa had one of the highest road accident rates in the world.
Road fatalities have been a central theme of the government over the past five years as it strove to clamp down on the rising number of accidents.
Peters has proposed tough measures to prevent more deaths on the roads.