Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe has welcomed the arrest made by a traffic officer of the department of an Examiner of VTeq Vehicle Testing Station in Piet Retief for allegedly issuing a road worthy certificated to a vehicle which was not road worthy.
The vehicle was discontinued on 20 June 2013 and reports revealed that it was tested and issued with road worthy certificate on 3 August 2013 by the station.
Upon investigations, the traffic officer discovered that the certificate was allegedly issued fraudulently which led to the examiner and the driver of the vehicle being arrested.
In June this year, the department cancelled 74 road worthy certificates which were issued fraudulently by the station.
The certificates were cancelled because they were issued by the pit assistant and that the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 outlines that an appropriately graded examiner of vehicles shall examine and test a motor vehicle before a Roadworthy Certificate is issued and not a pit assistant.
The pit assistant had authorised the certificates using an infrastructure number for an employee who had left the testing station without formal resignation from 22 December 2012.
The arrested Examiner has been charged with fraud and corruption while the driver faces a charge of driving an un-roadworthy vehicle and for not complying with the National Road Traffic Act for vehicle fitness.
Both of them will appear in Piet Retief Magistrate Court on 4 September 2013.
Meanwhile, the MEC also praised the police for arresting three notorious suspects linked to cases of livestock theft in Bushbuckridge last week Thursday on 29 August 2013.
The suspects, Nappies Morale (65), Eric Mathebula (51) and Patrick Mashile (41), have all appeared in court last week Friday, 30 August 2013 as they were charged with possession of suspected stolen stock (stock theft). The three were remanded in custody as they could not be granted bail. It is alleged that one of the suspects, Morale has never worked in his life and makes a living out of stealing cattle.
The three were arrested following a concern by the Bushbuckridge Live Stock Association that their livestock was disappearing and the police were seemingly dragging their feet in addressing the challenge. The farmers initially presented a Memorandum to the department in June this year.
The march was led by the Bushbuckridge Live Stock Association and at the time they were, appealing to the police to investigate 22 owners of butcheries in the area whom they believe could be involved in the ongoing theft of their cattle.
Among others, the farmers were also concerned with the granting of bail to live stock theft suspects, allegations of dockets getting lost, closure of dockets due to lack of evidence, delay in finalisation of cases and the issue of having only one magistrate to handle live stock theft cases in the area.
The association informed the department that more than five cattle per week were stolen in the area.
As part of the department’s interventions, a Rural Safety Committee was launched to discuss challenges affecting livestock owners within the Mhala Policing precinct. The committee, which consisted of livestock owners, CPF members and SAPS, has among others raided pension pay points in villages surrounding Mhala police precinct in order to deal with livestock theft.
The department also intervened by taking some of the outstanding cases which did not have any progress to the Provincial Commissioner’s office so that they could be reprioritised. The department has also held a series of meetings with livestock farmers with a view of assisting them.
Shongwe has welcomed the arrest of the suspects as they could assist in identifying other stock theft suspects in Bushbuckridge. He has also called on the police to investigate the outstanding livestock cases thoroughly so that all those who are implicated are brought to book.
“We are happy with the progress SAPS has made in this regard and we are appealing to community members who may have information that may lead to the arrest and successful conviction of more livestock thieves to come forward and assist the police,” Shongwe said.
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