File picture: SAPS (Twitter)

JOHANNESBURG - Twelve officials arrested in a pre-festive season crackdown on vehicle and driver's licencing anti-corruption drive are to appear in court in two provinces for bail applications on Monday after spending the weekend in police cells, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said.

The suspects were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo on Friday on allegations of fraud and contraventions of the National Road Traffic Act. Seven of the suspects were from Limpopo and five from KwaZulu-Natal, RTMC spokesman Simon Zwane said on Sunday.

The arrests followed raids conducted at private testing stations and a learner's licence testing authority by the RTMC’s national traffic anti-corruption unit, jointly with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks), the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), and the KwaZulu-Natal transport and traffic investigations unit, he said.

Allegations against the Limpopo suspects, who included examiners of vehicles and data capture staff, were that they issued vehicle roadworthy certificates fraudulently for vehicles they had never physically inspected. The suspects were expected to appear in the magistrate's courts in Musina and Thohoyandou.

The five suspects arrested in KwaZulu-Natal would appear at the Durban Commercial Crimes Court. The suspects included four examiners of learner licences employed in Underberg and a manager formerly employed at another learner licence centre in Howick.

"It is alleged that the suspects participated in fraudulent activities by unlawfully and irregularly assisting applicants to pass their learner's licence tests. Scores of documents were confiscated in Underberg and they will be subjected to further investigations," Zwane said.

RTMC CEO Makhosini Msibi congratulated the teams on the latest breakthroughs. “Corruption within driver's and vehicle licencing authorities undermines efforts made by honest men and women to reduce [the] carnage on South African roads. We have to double our efforts and deal decisively with this scourge to restore public confidence in [the] authorities,” he said. 

Msibi called on members of the public to report suspected corrupt activities on 0861-400-800 or [email protected]

African News Agency (ANA)