Mpumalanga speed cameras: Department could be forced to refund millions

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

The Public Protector has found that the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison conducted speed camera law enforcement without the authorisation of the National Prosecuting Authority, and that all fines issued using this method from 02 February 2012 to 31 March 2012 were invalid.

The DA lodged a twofold complaint with the Public Protector in April 2012 regarding the legality of speed fines issued during that period, as well as the department’s use of unmanned speed cameras for law enforcement, in complete disregard of the necessary guidelines, and without the NPA’s authorisation to do so.

In a letter dated 16 October, the Public Protector confirmed that all fines issued during these two months were indeed invalid and requested the department to provide a list of all the fines issued during this period.

While the Public Protector has not yet ruled on the use unmanned speed cameras from 2008 to January 2012, finding that all fines issued through the use of cameras, manned or unmanned, will hold massive financial and other implications for the department.

Furthermore, the department’s arrogance has compromised its speed law enforcement ability, and potentially exposed itself and the MEC Vusi Shongwe to litigation. It may be obliged to refund all the fines issued and paid for during that period, which could amount to millions of rand.

The Public Protector’s finding on this matter vindicates the DA’s stance to protect the public from the department’s improper and potentially illegal use of speed cameras, and we will continue to do so until the matter is resolved.