Nine traffic officers have been arrested in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in a pre-festive season peak travel crackdown on fraud and corruption, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) announced on Wednesday night.
Two of the officers are from the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) and were arrested for allegedly soliciting a bribe of R1,500 from a taxi driver.
ALSO READ: Driving on the Rea Vaya lane? You will get bust!
“During the encounter the driver immediately alerted the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit (NTACU), and a successful sting operation was conducted, resulting in the arrest of the officers,” said the RTMC.
The officers are expected to appear in court today on corruption charges.
In another case, seven officers were arrested in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.
The seven include five traffic officers employed by the provincial Road Traffic Inspectorate and two from the Newcastle municipality.
ALSO READ: Revolutionising road safety: JMPD traffic officers to wear body cameras
The officers were arrested in a joint operation conducted by NTACU and the Hawks following complaints from members of the public regarding the conduct of traffic officers on the road.
An undercover operation was conducted, and the seven officers were arrested for fraud and corruption.
“These incidents highlight the ongoing battle against corruption in South Africa, particularly within law enforcement agencies. NTACU continues to work tirelessly to root out corrupt officials and restore public trust in traffic law enforcement,” said the RTMC.
“It is important for citizens to report all corruption they witness or experience to ensure corrupt officials are brought to book. The Road Traffic Management Corporation has taken a firm stance against fraud and corruption and will continue to investigate and prosecute those who engage in such activities without fear or favour.”
ALSO READ: Wannabe traffic officers give RTMC a deadline for starting their training
All the suspects are expected to appear in court today for bail application.
Motorists are not having it any easier too, after Gauteng province announced increased police visibility on the roads, with a target on hot spot areas.
These include blue light patrols and static deployments of rapid response vehicles at identified strategic routes.
There will be roadblocks at identified national and provincial roads that are connecting Gauteng with neighbouring provinces.
According to the JMPD, the top five traffic offences in the province include speeding, driving unlicensed vehicles, driving without fastening seatbelts, driving without licences and driving vehicles with worn-out tyres.
ALSO READ: Limpopo traffic officers convicted for accepting bribes from motorists
Last week, a VW Golf 7 driver was caught driving 138km/h in a 80km zone, while at least 216 people were arrested between 27 November and 3 December for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The highest was a motorist who was caught riding a Suzuki motorbike at a speed of 151km/h in a 80km zone.