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Cops 'violating road traffic act'

Dec 20 2011 18:00 Sapa

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Johannesburg - The Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) was accused on Tuesday of violating the Road Traffic Act by sending infringement notices to offenders through standard permit mail.

But the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has insisted the JMPD was abiding by the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act (Aarto).

Justice Project SA chairperson Howard Dembovsky told reporters on Tuesday: "The notices are normally sent by registered mail, but JMPD management started sending them on standard permit mail on June 1 last year saying it saved them R15 per mail item."

Dembovsky described the practice as corrupt and said it was a violation of Aarto.

"Up to 8 million notices were sent to traffic offenders for 18 months," he said in Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg.

"The department had in return generated more than R1.1bn after traffic offenders paid the fines."

The infringement notices covered a variety of offences, especially speeding, in which drivers were captured on camera.

Dembovsky said the JMPD only started using registered mail again in January this year, after the acting registrar of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, Japh Chuwe, wrote to JMPD chief Chris Ngcobo requesting them to do so.

Dembovsky said his organisation had also sent a complaint to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, asking her to probe the department.

"We have received dozens of reports from the people who complained about the high level of corruption that exists within the JMPD," Dembovsky said.

"I can assure the public that we are tackling this corruption head-on and it will soon be a thing of the past."

JMPD spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar referred all enquiries to Ashref Ismail of the RTMC.

Ismail said: "The whole JMPD has been operating under the Aarto Act since 2009, but I do not know if they have been issuing infringement notices by standard permit or registered mail."

Ismail declined to comment on the graft accusations.

"I cannot comment on the other claims of corruption made by the Justice Project South Africa against JMPD," he said.

aarto  |  rtmc  |  jmpd
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