Five traffic officials, three administration clerks, four jockeys, two examiners and one driving school instructor have been arrested in the Free State for allegedly issuing fraudulent drivers’ licences and vehicle roadworthy certificates.
According to provincial police spokesperson Warrant Officer Lynda Steyn, the arrests were made in Bethlehem and Harrismith following an investigation dating back to 2018.
The investigation emanated from reports that Code 8, 10 and 14 drivers’ licences were allegedly issued.
“In cases where the money is paid to the driving school instructor, he will then give the money to the examiner. In some instances, everything is arranged with the instructor who acts as a middleman,” the police spokesperson said.
Truck licences (Code 14) were also allegedly issued to individuals who were not physically tested themselves, but a so-called “jockey” would conduct the physical test on the applicant’s behalf.
Those who were arrested were expected to appear in the Bethlehem and Harrismith Magistrate’s Courts on Friday.
Steyn added that in Limpopo, almost 54 employees and 10 traffic officials from five vehicle testing stations were involved.
Other operations took place in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, the Western Cape and the North West.
National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, welcomed the arrests.
“I commend the multi-disciplinary approach that was involved in this project. The arrests of these individuals will indirectly contribute in the reduction of fatalities on our roads,” Lebeya said.
Meanwhile, those who may have obtained their licences fraudulently in the Free State have been urged to come forward for their licences to be verified.