The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) on Thursday welcomed the imprisonment of two traffic officers in connection with bribery and corruption in the Limpopo province.
RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said the Tzaneen Magistrate’s Court has sentenced the traffic officers to prison terms, without the option of a fine, for accepting a R150 bribe from undercover anti-corruption agents.
“The court sentenced Mr Kgapane Stanley Makhurupetje (42) to four years imprisonment – with two years suspended for four years. His co-accused Ms Portia Ramphelo (34) received a two-year prison term,” Zwane said.
Operation Siyabangena has corrupt cops in its crosshairs
The two were arrested in a joint operation by the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit of the RTMC and the Hawks in a blitz dubbed Operation Siyabangena in December 2017.
“Although we welcome the sentence, we note that it does not sufficiently take into account the fact that rampant corruption in the traffic law enforcement sector is a significant factor in promoting the culture of lawlessness on the roads.
“Corruption also contributes to the high number of road fatalities experienced in the country and in Limpopo in particular,” Zwane said.
“We however, believe that the conviction of these officers will send a message to others that crime does not pay. These officers now no longer qualify to work as traffic officers because of their criminal record and this means that we have succeeded in removing bad elements from the ranks of traffic officers.”
A total of 13 traffic officers were arrested as part of the Operation Siyabangena and their cases are still continuing in different courts across the Limpopo province.