Seven traffic officers and four vehicle examiners in Limpopo have been arrested in a pre-festive season crackdown on bribery and corruption.
In a joint effort by members of the Road Traffic Management Corporation's (RTMC) National Traffic Anti-corruption Unit, the Hawks and Special Investigating Unit (SIU), four traffic officers employed at the Limpopo Traffic Department in Thohoyandou were arrested.
Three other officers employed by the Makhado Municipality were also arrested in the same operation.
They are currently being detained by the police and will appear in court on Wednesday.
"The seven have been detained at Thohoyandou police station and will appear in court tomorrow [Wednesday] on allegations that they have been taking bribes from motorists in the Vhembe District," according to the RTMC.
The arrests come after four examiners at a privately owned vehicle testing station were arrested on Monday.
The four, who are employed by the Maanda-Ashu vehicle testing station, allegedly certified vehicles as roadworthy without conducting the necessary tests on them, said RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane.
"In one instance, a vehicle that had been impounded by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department was certified as roadworthy while it was parked in the police pound. The arrests mark the culmination of a year-long investigation initiated following public complaints."
According to Zwane, corruption by traffic officers was one factor behind accidents and fatalities on the roads.
"Corruption by traffic officers and licencing officials is one of the factors behind the high rate of road traffic crashes and fatalities in the country. Limpopo is one of the regions with the highest number of fatalities.
"Last year, 1 581 deaths were recorded in this province, making it one of the four provinces that contributed to 63.9% of road fatalities. The other provinces that contributed a high number of road deaths were Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape".
Zwane called on the public to assist the RTMC by reporting bribery, fraud and corruption to 0861 400 800 or by emailing email@example.com.