Commission applauds border officials who refused bribe

A former clearing agent and a SARS customs external verification officer were sentenced on counts of fraud, forgery, and two counts of corruption.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has praised officials from SARS and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) who refused to take a bribe at the Beitbridge port of entry.

The officials were offered R50 000, which was increased to R200 000, after a truck loaded with 614 boxes of semi-manufactured tobacco to the value of R6m entered South Africa via Beitbridge port of entry.

“These upright officials demonstrated honesty and bravery as well as an important trait of serving with integrity and ethical conduct, something that must be applauded.

“Their ethical conduct also augurs well towards the professionalisation of the public service and should serve as a lesson to all public servants to give their selfless service to the people of this country,” said the commission in a statement.

The Musina Regional Court recently sentenced Nthapeleng Adler Munyai, a former Pamdozi Cargo International CC clearing agent, and Tsumbedzo Priscilla Nemangani Mashito, who used to work as a SARS customs external verification officer, to an effective 15-year direct imprisonment term on counts of fraud, forgery, and two counts of corruption.

According to the NPA, Munyai and Mashito, who are both 47 years old, were arrested for permitting an interlink truck with two trailers loaded with semi-manufactured tobacco to enter the country from Zimbabwe in 2016.

The pair used forged and fraudulent consignment clearance documents and processed them through the Beitbridge border control’s customs control area without compliance with the normal customs clearance process and procedures.

However, a RTMC officer stopped the truck at the weighbridge after noticing the registration plates of the truck and trailers did not match with the licence discs and wanted to send the truck back to the customs control area for an inspection.

The RTMC officer then contacted his senior who was off duty and asked for his intervention which resulted in the truck being sent back to the Beitbridge border control’s customs ramp, under police and traffic officials’ escort, for inspection.

However, Munyai offered customs officials R50 000 – which was later increased to R200 000 – which they turned down.

According to PSC, the officials demonstrated a high standard of professional ethics.

The commission encouraged all public servants across the country to uphold the constitutional values and principles,  which calls for professional ethics and accountability. – SAnews.gov.za

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