National car security crisis looms as Telkom threatens to cut lines | Fin24
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National car security crisis looms as Telkom threatens to cut lines

Mar 24 2017 14:20
Lizeka Tandwa, News24

Telkom (Duncan Alfreds)

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Pretoria - Telkom intends cutting off all connection systems at the Road Traffic Management System (RTMS) should it not receive a payment of R8m by end of day, the Pretoria high court heard on Friday. 

This could lead to chaos with 11 million vehicles on the country's roads unverified, making it easier for the cars to be stolen and smuggled across the border.

The RTMS made an urgent application to Tasima to vacate the eNaTIS (electronic national traffic information system) offices and hand over control of the eNaTIS system.

Advocate Etienne Labuschagne SC, for the RTMS, argued that Tasima needed to pay Telkom to avoid a national crisis.

He told the court that Tasima's contract was found to be invalid on November 9 in the Constitutional Court.

Tasima was ordered to hand over the eNaTIS system to the RTMS within 30 days, but it has still not complied.

Labuschagne argued that Tasima was in contempt of court because it was abusing a migration plan as a means of stretching the calendar. 

He said a major development that warranted the RTMS's urgent application was that Telkom had now written to Tasima warning that it would cut its connection.

"The development that has taken place is that there are a number of sites crashing. Telkom gave notice they are cutting off services which are a life line."

Tasima, however, argued that the RTMS was using Telkom as a strategy to oust them. 

Its legal representative Advocate Paul McNally SC argued that it was the responsibility of the Department of Transport (DoT), not Tasima, to pay Telkom. 

He told Judge Hans Fabricius that the courts needed more time to go through the affidavits and relevant papers.

"It's impossible to deal with the matter today. There has been a ConCourt order, but it's a very complex matter. They come along to you today and they say we have learnt Telkom is about to cut off your line. If Telkom cuts off our lines it will be a national catastrophe. DoT must make payment and they should make it today."

Judge Fabricius ordered that the matter be heard on Thursday to allow the court more time to study arguments. 

Outside court, RTMS CEO Makhosini Msibi told journalists that Telkom's notice that it would shut down its data service to RTMS should be viewed as an emergency. 

"It means that 11 million vehicles that are on our roads, no one will be able to verify the legality of those vehicles. We will also not validate the licences that they have. Above all, SAPS will also not have access to the system. Everybody is going to have these cars stolen and taken outside the border."

Msibi said this will cause a state of "pandemonium" and "fiasco" on the country's roads. 

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