Johannesburg - The Road Transport Management Corporation's anti-corruption unit and officers from the SAPS on Wednesday arrested a senior administrative officer at the Gauteng Department of Transport for allegedly issuing fake driving licences.
The 42-year-old official was first issued with a letter of suspension by his manager at his desk before he was taken away by the members of the RTMC anti-corruption unit and the police .
Gauteng Transport MEC Ishmael Vadi suggested that the arrested official could be part of a syndicate.
''Indications are that he could not have carried this operation alone. We believe there might be several other employees of the department, or even in some of the municipalities as some licencing centres are run by municipalities. The investigation will reveal the extent of this operation as far as the other two provinces are concerned,'' Vadi said.
The man is alleged to have irregularly processed 106 driving licences applications. The unauthorised licenses were issued from 16 centres in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West.
The official was also accused of irregularly converting driving licence codes, Vadi said.
''As a senior officer in the department’s monitoring and research unit for driving licence testing centres, he would upgrade and also convert driver's licence codes. He also attempted to improperly gain access to the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS) and perform certain administrative functions that he was not authorised to carry out.''
RTMC spokesman Simon Zwane the 106 licence holders would be traced, notified and their licences will be suspended.
''This investigation is part of an ongoing process to root out corruption in the issuing of driver's licences. We have been saying that illegal driving licences are big problem ... thousands of people die on the roads because of drivers who went and bought licences through facilitation by corrupt officials."
The suspect will appear in court soon.
African News Agency (ANA)