02 Passengers disembark from a SA Roadlink bus that arrived at Johannesburg Park station. Picture: Antoine de Ras. 05/01/10

Every SA Roadlink bus entering the Western Cape from Thursday will be stopped and “thoroughly” checked, says Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle.

This comes after a charge of fraud was laid against SA Roadlink. The charge was laid at the Joburg Central police station by Gauteng Roads and Transport Department MEC Ismail Vadi.

He had been given allegedly forged documents, smuggled out of the bus company’s offices in Joburg by André Smit, a former duty depot supervisor.

Smit told City Press newspaper that he had seen a top manager forging Gauteng government permits for specified buses to drive in the province.

On Wednesday, Carlisle said he and Vadi had agreed to take tough action against the long-distance bus operator.

“MEC Vadi has laid charges against SA Roadlink after it was discovered that a senior SA Roadlink employee had resigned in disgust after only three days, having discovered a scheme to produce fraudulent roadworthy documents,” Carlisle said.

“I, together with Community Safety MEC Dan Plato, have decided that, in support of our colleague from Gauteng, and with immediate effect and until further notice, every SA Roadlink bus in the province will be stopped on sight and pulled over for a detailed inspection of their operating licence, and all relevant transport documents, including vehicle registration and roadworthy and driver licensing.”

SA Roadlink Western Cape spokesman Abdul Kariem said provincial authorities were welcome to check its coaches. “We have nothing to hide,” Kariem said. “All our documents are 100 percent legal.”

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Cape Argus