South Africa: Umngeni Municipal Employee Sentenced to House Arrest

An uMngeni municipal employee has been sentenced to three years correctional supervision for fraudulently issuing learner licences at the Howick Licensing Department in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday handed down the sentence to Thandazile Judith Shelembe, a principal administrative clerk.

She was also fined R9 000 or 12 months imprisonment.

In a statement, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) welcomed the sentence and hoped that it sends a message to others that crime does not pay but has devastating consequences.

Shelembe has been placed under house arrest for the full duration of the sentence and may not leave magisterial area in which she resides without the permission of The Commissioner of Correctional Services.

Shelembe is expected to perform community service for 16 hours per month for the first 24 months of the sentence and must complete programmes in life orientation or any other programme that the commissioner may deem necessary at her own expense.

"She has to refrain from the use of alcohol and drugs for the duration of the sentence, other than for medical reasons. She was ordered to report to the Correctional official at her designated office before midday [on Monday]," the statement reads.

Shelembe was arrested on 5 June 2019 by the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit of the Road Traffic Management Corporation and the Hawks. Her arrested followed that of six officials and nine learner licence applicants on charges of fraud in March 2018.

Shelembe was accused of nine counts of fraud for capturing the information of applicants onto the eNaTis systems, without the applicants actually completing the application and in the absence of the applicants, contrary to the National Road Traffic Act and Regulations.

She also captured false eye test results for the nine applicants while their eyes were never tested. She took payment for learner licence tests and secured test dates in the absence of the applicants, contrary to legislation.

Shelembe pleaded guilty on 6 September 2019 and was later convicted.

She also faced disciplinary action by her employer and pleaded before resigning with immediate effect last month.

Meanwhile, the Polokwane Magistrate Court has released 18 employees of privately-owned vehicle testing stations on R500 bail each. They are to return to court on 29 November 2019.

They were arrested last Thursday on allegations that they issued roadworthy certificates for vehicles that they did not physically examine.

Three of four suspects arrested in Lephalale on similar charges were released on R2 500 bail each, while the fourth one was granted bail of R1 000. They are to return to court on 12 November 2019.

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