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Amnesty for fake licence-holders

2009-05-20 07:39
Mashishing - Mpumalanga police are urging anyone who's received a fraudulent licence to hand them over at their nearest police station.

They will not be prosecuted or questioned, said Mpumalanga organised crime unit spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi on Tuesday.

"The people who will respond positively to this call will be indemnified from prosecution," he said.

He said there were increasing incidents of people receiving their licences fraudulently.

"We are sending a strong warning to all officials in different municipalities in the province that they must refrain from engaging themselves in corrupt activities," said Hlathi.

Examiners arrested

The warning comes after two senior licensing examiners from Thaba Chweu local municipality in Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg) were arrested last week on charges of selling drivers licenses for R5 000 each.

They are out on bail after appearing in the Lydenburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Bruce Nel, 44, and Andrei Leon van Zyl, 43, work for the municipality and were not asked to plead to charges of fraud and corruption.

They will appear again on June 29 with the owner of Manzini driving school, Phenius Manzini, 44, who is accused of being part of the scam.

Investigating since 1997

Police have been investigating the case since 2007.

"We have established that other driving schools are also implicated," said Hlathi.

Hlathi said learner drivers make appointments for their driving tests, but don't do them.

Instead, they simply sit out the duration of the test and then collect their licences.

Mpumalanga is notorious for issuing fraudulent driver's licenses.

Former parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete received an improperly issued driver's license when she did her test in Delmas. She was not, however, charged with any wrongdoing.

Mpumalanga safety and security MEC at the time, Steve Mabona, was not so lucky.

He was forced to resign in 1997 when the Moldenhauer Commission ruled that he was unfit for government after lying about his role in issuing two fraudulent drivers' licences to Mbete.

- African Eye

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