Are Mpumalanga Traffic Officials Operating Illegally?

Anthony Benadie MPL

DA Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Evidence is mounting that the move of the Traffic Management Unit from the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport (DPWRT) to the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison (DCSSL) was not only an ill-considered political decision by premier David Mabuza and his cabinet, but has potentially also given rise to a range of illegalities.

It would appear that not all legal regulations and requirements relating to the appointment of traffic officials were complied with, when the transfer of this unit took place. This has potentially rendered any traffic law enforcement official appointed by DPWRT (the former department), but now working for DCSSL (current department) as an illegally appointed officer, which could render traffic law enforcement in Mpumalanga non-existent.

According to legislation, all traffic law enforcement officials must be in possession of appointment certificates issued by the accounting officer (HOD) of the relevant government department which employs them. According to information in the DA’s possession, Mpumalanga’s traffic officials are still operating with appointment certificates issued by public works, roads and transport HOD, Mr Kgopane Mohlasedi, and have not been re-issued valid appointment certificate by DCSSL HOD Mr ST Sibuya, since being transferred to DCSSL on 1 June 2011.

The consequence is that traffic officials throughout Mpumalanga are operating with appointment certificates issued by a department’s accounting officer for which they don’t work, rendering those certificates invalid, and in this case, fraudulent.

Mpumalanga MEC for community safety, security and liaison Vusi Shongwe must immediately explain why the transfer of the traffic management unit from DPWRT to his department has been characterised by such an administrative shambles. In a desperate attempt to command his own force, MEC Shongwe has disregarded all legislation, raising serious questions around the legality of traffic law enforcement operations during the past 15 months.

To this end the DA will write to both MEC Shongwe and premier Mabuza requesting them to clarify and rectify the administrative chaos, as well as bring to their attention that all fines issued and policing operations conducted by officers with the incorrect appointment certificate may be illegal, and may be subject to litigation.

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