File Photo

Durban -

Having access to free fuel and apparent free use of municipal vehicles proved too tempting for two eThekwini municipal officials.

They were arrested for defrauding the City Fleet department, the latest incidents following several cases of fraud and corruption at the same department uncovered last year.

In the first case, an employee was siphoning fuel from official vehicles, and he was caught after a sting was set up.

In the second case, an employee faked a hijacking by crashing the vehicle, as he had been driving outside eThekwini’s borders.

In the case of the fuel siphoning, an employee had been filling the vehicle’s tank several times a day.

The manager of vehicle investigations at the city, together with the Durban Metro Police Dog Unit, were made aware of the fuel siphoning and planned to watch the movement of the vehicle.

“When the vehicle went to locations where the fuel siphoning was suspected, they moved in and arrested the employee,” said Municipal spokesman Thabo Mofokeng.

The employee was dismissed.

In the other case, an employee used a council vehicle outside the municipal boundaries without the necessary authorisation.

In the last financial year, the City Fleet unit has dealt with three cases of fuel theft, in which eight employees have been arrested together with four civilians who bought stolen fuel. Six employees face disciplinary hearings, one employee was dismissed and one has resigned.

- Independent on Saturday