THE Limpopo transport department says it has dismissed at least three officials after R7.4m was stolen from its traffic summons account.
The department said the corruption was uncovered by its anti-fraud and corruption unit.
Department spokesperson Joshua Kwapa said three officials had been dismissed while 10 resigned after the investigations.
One official is going through a disciplinary hearing.
“The investigation and the breakthrough followed information that revenue was lost at various traffic stations at the district offices,” said Kwapa.
According to the information, contravention officers, traffic officers and revenue officers were collecting postal order payments from various post offices in Limpopo, which were destined for various traffic stations. The officers would then redeem the postal orders but fail to deposit the money into the department’s bank account, Kwapa said.
An investigation into this revealed that the rot had begun as far back as 2009, he said.
“It was further discovered that some officials reduced amounts on summonses, even though the traffic offenders sent the correct amount on postal orders, for their own selfish benefit.”
The investigation revealed that the implicated officials did not bank the money into the department’s bank account, instead they stole it and used it for their personal gain.
The department then decided to open criminal cases against the officials through commercial crimes unit.
Transport and Community Safety MEC Nandi Ndalane welcomed the breakthrough by the department and hailed the anti-fraud and corruption unit for its hard work and tenacity.
“As a department we condemn and despise fraud and corruption.
“We do not tolerate officials who abuse their positions of responsibility and use them to steal tax payers’ money,” said Ndalane.
She said investigation into any acts of corruption within the department would continue to be investigated.
She warned that “would-be criminals” within the department would face the full might of the law once caught.