1 minute read
6 Oct 2014
9:30 am

Lydenburg traffic cops acquitted for lowering fines

Two Lydenburg traffic cops who lowered motorists' fines have been acquitted of fraud charges.

Picture: Thinkstock

Regional Magistrate Andries Lamprecht said there was a general perception that traffic officers of the Thaba Chweu municipality in Lydenburg imposed fines to create an income for the municipality, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday.

But the money was not being used to make roads safer.

“This income does not get used to fix the countless potholes on our local roads,” he said in the Lydenburg Regional Court.

He said it was clear that several municipalities had no idea how to properly administer the income derived from traffic fines.

He acquitted two traffic officers, Jacob Papena Phala and Jabulani Andrew Mthombothi, of fraud.

Phala, who was deputy head traffic officer, and Mthombothi, a superintendent, lowered traffic fines after receiving representations from motorists.

They did this without the authorisation of the director of public prosecutions.

The pair was charged after the municipality’s income dropped by more than R225,150.

The court heard both men were under the impression it was required of them to handle representations from the public.

Lamprecht said neither of them benefited personally from the lowering of the fines.