South Africa: Imprisonment of Two Traffic Officers Welcomed

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has welcomed the imprisonment of two traffic officers in connection with bribery and corruption in Limpopo.

Officers Kgapane Stanley Makhurupetje (42) and Portia Ramphelo (34) appeared in the Tzaneen Magistrate Court on Thursday, where they were sentenced to prison terms without the option of a fine for accepting a R150 bribe from undercover anti-corruption agents.

Makhurupetje was sentenced to four years imprisonment with two years suspended for four years, while his co-accused was sentenced to a two-year prison term.

The two were arrested in December 2017 during a joint operation (dubbed "Operation Siyabangena") by the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit of the RTMC and the Hawks.

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said although they welcome the sentence, the corporation noted that the sentence does not sufficiently take into account the fact that rampant corruption in the traffic law enforcement sector is a significant factor in promoting the culture of lawlessness on the roads.

"Corruption also contributes to the high of number of road fatalities experienced in the country and in Limpopo in particular. We, however, believe that the conviction of these officers will send a message to others that crime does not pay.

"These officers now no longer qualify to work as traffic officers because of their criminal record and this means that we have succeeded in removing bad elements from the ranks of traffic officers," Zwane said.

A total of 13 traffic officers were arrested as part of Operation Siyabangena and their cases are continuing in different courts in Limpopo.

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