LIMPOPO Roads, Safety and Security MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana says about half of the province’s drivers licences have been fraudulently acquired.
She has taken a swipe at traffic officers who allegedly take bribes from desperate wannabe drivers who prefer shortcuts to acquire their driver’s licenses.
Addressing delegates at a recent Youth Road Safety Summit in Polokwane, Mokaba-Phukwana said fraud and corruption in the issuing of drivers licences has had dire socio-economic consequences for Limpopo, including unnecessary road accidents.
“About 50% of the driving licenses in the province have been fraudulently acquired and this misconduct is one of the root causes of road carnages in the province as unfit drivers are all over our roads,” Mokaba-Phukwana said.
“These fake drivers are ignorant and break the law because they have no clue of what is expected from them as valid drivers. We are sick and tired of lawlessness and rampant corruption and I will make sure that I get to the bottom of it and root it out.”
Fake learner’s and driver’s licenses are being sold at testing stations across the country for between R800 and R4 500, according to sources with intimate knowledge of the scheme.
The fraudulent scheme is said to be primarily organised and run by corrupt driving instructors in collusion with centre examiners.
Mokaba-Phukwana has promised to crack the whip on corrupt officials.
“Fraud and corruption will not be tolerated at any licensing centre. Therefore, we want to re-iterate our warning to any person who involves themselves in such activities, that we will leave no stone unturned in such matters. Those who accept a bribe, as well as those who offer the bribe, will face the full might of the law,” she said.
The MEC has urged youths to expose greedy and corrupt law enforcement agents who always want “money for cold drink.”
She added: “We are aware that there are rotten apples which are giving us a bad name. I am appealing to you young people to come forward and expose these bad elements. If you have any information regarding these corrupt activities, please approach me directly. If you report the matter directly to me, I will make sure that you are protected.”
In a feisty element typical of her late brother Peter, the former ANC Youth League president, Mokaba-Phukwana declared that “I don’t fear anyone… no amount of intimidation will deter me.”
Hangwani Mashau, the provincial secretary of the Police and Civil Rights Union (POPCRU), says he is not aware of allegations that 50 percent of drivers licences issued in Limpopo were fraudulently acquired.
He has challenged Mokaba-Phukwana to open criminal cases if she has evidence of fraud and corruption against anybody.
“She is the MEC. If she knows of this criminal element, let her submit evidence to the police,” Mashau said.
“We generally don’t comment on criminal matters. If there are people who have evidence of criminality, let them come forward.”