Four council officials are expected to appear in court on Wednesday after reportedly being arrested on charges relating to fraud and corruption.
Three clerks were arrested on Tuesday at the City of Cape Town’s Civic Centre offices while a fourth official, who had been on sick leave, was arrested at his home.
Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security JP Smith said the City’s Special Investigations Unit, along with the police, were responsible for the probe into cases which seem to stretch as far as 2013. The suspicious practice was identified by the City’s forensic audit department in May.
He explained “four or more” licensing officials are thought to be involved in the issuing of fraudulent licensing discs during licence renewals primarily to taxi owners who have been blocked with the admin mark.
The mark is assigned to drivers who have warrants of arrest, preventing them from renewing their licences or vehicle registrations on the eNatis system.
“They found a way to circumvent this. But the record of that fraudulent transaction lives on in the system,” he said.
“This is a critical mechanism in terms of vehicle licensing. We must take firm action against any corruption.”
It is believed at least R100 000 was pocketed though this practice, Smith said.
The city’s transport department will withdraw the licences of taxi bosses found to have benefited from this, he warned.
The investigation continues. News24