Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina warns that more arrests to root out fraud and corruption in the metro are imminent, reports the Boksburg Advertiser.
Masina was reacting to news that the Hawks have arrested licensing officers in the metro’s Benoni office.
“We have said it that our administration has no room for fraud and corruption, and this development shows that we meant what we said,” the mayor said.
“We will continue working consistently to root out corruption. My message to all employees is that if you are engaging in corrupt activities, stop it now or risk going to jail. We appreciate the work done by the Hawks and all roleplayers who made this operation a success.”
The mayor said his administration would leave no stone unturned, saying the days of fraud and corruption were over.
“Our investigations are working tirelessly to reveal relationships between the corruptors and those willing to be corrupted because ours is to ensure that we run a clean government,” said the mayor.
Masina gave an undertaking that the arrests would not impact on service delivery at the Benoni licensing department as measures have been put in place to close the gap left by those arrested.
The mayor’s statement comes after a media statement, issued on October 18, stated that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in the Free State (Hawks), together with Crime Intelligence and Tactical Response Team on Tuesday, arrested nine traffic officials and two civilians for corruption and fraud.
“The suspects aged between 31 and 55 were arrested at the Benoni traffic department and Secunda traffic department during the termination of Project Crocodile, which was registered early this year to curb fraud and corruption at the Benoni and Secunda traffic departments,” the statement read.
“It is alleged that the traffic officials, together with their runners, allegedly pocketed thousands of rands by accepting bribes from learner drivers who failed their tests as well as from individuals desperate for learners and drivers without undergoing the testing processes.”
The statement read that the 11 suspects were arrested while on duty. Seven of the suspects were arrested in Benoni traffic department, and two were arrested in Secunda department. The runners were arrested at their trading place in Benoni near the testing grounds.
National head of the Hawks Lieutenant-General Mthandazo Ntlemeza has welcomed the arrests and also vowed that the unit would be thorough in fighting serious fraud and corruption.
“How many people are driving with illegal drivers licenses on our roads? How many people have lost their lives because of greedy government officials who want a quick buck disregarding the safety of road users? It cannot be accepted,” said Ntlemeza.
“We arrested 26 immigrations at Maseru Border officers last month who disregarded the safety of our citizens. Today this arrests should send a strong message that at as the Hawks we will continue to leave no stones unturned in fighting serious fraud and corruption in government. Be warned, we will strike when we are least expected, and we vow to continue with our work without fear or favour.”
– Caxton News Service