John Moodey MPL
The DA in Gauteng will request an independent audit by the Auditor-General into police driver’s licences in the province.
According to reports Gauteng police have redone the maths, finding that more than 90% of officers have driving licences, a significant 50% more since the initial response to my question which indicated that fewer than 40% of operational police officers had valid licences.
The DA recently questioned why Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s figures provided to Parliament on police driver’s licences don’t add up. The figures for Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal alone were well above the numbers provided by Mthethwa.
The police minister’s spokesperson was the first to claim that something was wrong with the vehicle licence database and administration of Gauteng police.
Gauteng police then claimed that the figure was due to a 2007 decision to relax the requirement for driver’s licences.
However, it is now increasingly evident that Gauteng police has toed the line and echoed the minister’s equally questionable explanation: “discrepancy might have been created as a result of temporary licences and expired and renewed licences which were not captured and classified as valid driver’s licences”.
I will request that the Auditor-General, in terms of section 3(5)(b)(ii) of the Auditor-General Act (No 12 of 1995) investigate the record-keeping and audit the validity of police driver’s licences in Gauteng. The employment of operational members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) do not fall within the bounds of the Public Service Act, and the Public Service Commission, as a result, is not the appropriate body to investigate.
It is, however, imperative that an independent body get to the bottom of the driver’s licence bungle up, or even potential cover up.
I will also submit follow up questions to Gauteng Community Safety MEC Nonhlanhla Mazibuko requesting information on what is deemed a valid driver’s licence and questioning why the police database is apparently in such a chaotic state.