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Are cops playing by the rules?

2011-12-21 09:43

NOT LEGAL?: Fines issued by the JMPD since June, 2010, are being called into question.

The Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) was accused on Tuesday of violating the Road Traffic Act by sending infringement notices to offenders through standard permit mail.

But the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has insisted the JMPD was abiding by the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act.

Justice Project SA chairman Howard Dembovsky told reporters on Tuesday: "The notices are normally sent by registered mail but JMPD management started sending them by standard permit mail on June 1, 2010, saying it saved them R15 per mail item."

Dembovsky described the practice as corrupt and said it was a violation of Aarto.


He said: "Up to eight million notices were sent to traffic offenders for 18 months. The department had in return generated more than R1.1-billion after traffic offenders paid the fines."

The infringement notices covered a variety of offences, especially speeding in which drivers were captured on camera.

Dembovsky said the JMPD only started using registered mail again in January, 2011 after the acting Registrar of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, Japh Chuwe, wrote to JMPD chief Chris Ngcobo requesting them to do so.

Dembovsky said his organisation had also sent a complaint to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, asking her to probe the department.

JMPD spokesman chief superintendent Wayne Minnaar referred all enquiries to Ashref Ismail of the RTMC.

Ismail said: "The whole JMPD has been operating under the Aarto Act since 2009 but I do not know if they have been issuing infringement notices by standard permit or registered mail."


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