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Johannesburg - Four employees of a private vehicle testing station, who were arrested for fraudulently issuing roadworthy certificates, made a brief appearance at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday, the Road Traffic Management Corparation (RTMC) said.

Spokesperson Simon Zwane said the matter would be heard on May 22, at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, after the four were granted R1 500 bail each with conditions not to contact witnesses.

The four -- two men and two women aged 60, 57, 38 and 24 -- were arrested by at the Lincoln Vehicle Testing Station by a team of corruption busters consisting of the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit, the South African Police and the Gauteng Traffic Police’s compliance unit.

They were held in custody at the Johannesburg Central Police Station over the weekend. 

Zwane said the arrests followed months of investigation in which the four were observed issuing roadworthy certificates for vehicles that they were not physically presented to the station for inspection.

"More than 60 people, including traffic officers, SAPS members and vehicle examiners, have been arrested in different provinces on fraud and corruption charges since the start of the year," he said.

"The success of the corruption busters in investigation in the vehicles testing stations has led to the total shut-down of at least two privately owned testing stations."

Zwane said the Department of Roads and Transport had given notice of cancellation of registration to Hercules and Innovative testing centres.

"The owners of these centres were ordered to hand over the certificates of registrations to the Department and cease further operation."

"The owners were warned that should they continue operating, they shall be committing an offence in terms of Section 89 (1) and (6) of the National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act 93 of 1996)."

 Zwane added that Section 89 (6) provided that any person convicted of an offence in terms of Section (1), read with any other provisions of this Act, shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year.

African News Agency/ANA