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Traffic officials go to jail for more than 300 fraud charges

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Oct 27, 2021

The Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court has sentenced five former traffic officials from the Umngeni Municipality for more than 300 counts of fraud after they assisted people to pass their learner driver tests. 

Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said members from the Durban Serious Corruption Investigation Unit had received information from the Road Traffic Management Corporation about fraud and corruption activities at Umngeni Municipality Testing Centre in 2017. “A joint operation was conducted and it was discovered that officials were assisting applicants to pass their driver’s learners test,” Mhlongo said.

He said the Hawks investigation had revealed that traffic official examiners were using a laser torch to point to the correct answers on the computer screen. 

“The learner would then select the correct answer as indicated by the examiner, as a result the learners would pass the driver’s learners test. A gratification of up to R3000 was allegedly paid by each learner prior the test,” Mhlongo said.

Police arrested the traffic officials in March 2018 and they appeared in court several times until they were all found guilty of fraud in November 2020.

Dumisani Nkala, 52, was convicted for 49 counts of fraud and he was sentenced to eight years imprisonment suspended for five years on condition that he is not found guilty of fraud or theft during the period of suspension. He was further sentenced to three years correctional supervision.

Lindiwe Xulu, 46,  was convicted for 158 counts of fraud and she was sentenced to seven years direct imprisonment. Meshack Ndlovu, 47, was convicted of seven counts of fraud and was sentenced to four years direct imprisonment. 

Matthews Zondi, 55, was convicted of 274 counts of fraud and was sentenced to seven years direct imprisonment. Dumisani Phungula, 49,  was convicted for 15 counts of fraud and was sentenced to four years direct imprisonment.

“All counts in each accused were taken as one for the purpose of sentencing,” Mhlongo said.    

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