02 April 2021
Pretoria – Thembisile Octavia Yende (44), a Senior Traffic Officer from Msukalikwa Local Municipality appeared in the Ermelo Magistrate Court on Wednesday 30 March 2021 facing a charge of corruption, Hawks’ official Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said.
“Yende was arrested yesterday (Wednesday) by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation team as a second traffic officer in the area to be charged on corruption. Their arrest followed several complaints received about the law enforcement officers who were allegedly soliciting bribes from the public who committed traffic offences,” Nkwalase said.
Nkwalase added that subsequent to the outcry, a waylay investigation was put in place on the 22 February 2021 and the officers allegedly demanded gratification from a police agent.
This was followed by a joint operation led by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation team in Mpumalanga together with members of Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC) Head Office on Wednesday 03 March 2021. Leading to the arrest of Mfanafuthi Gift Hleza aged (32) on a similar charges.
Yende was released on R1000 bail and is expected to be back in the same court on 22 April 2021.
South Africa has been witnessing a spate of traffic police officers being arrested in the recent past, with two former Gauteng traffic police officers having been sentenced to eight years on 24 March for fraud and corruption.
Sibuela Mbanjwa and Ntombi Khumalo appeared in the South Gauteng Magistrates Court after they were arrested in April 2017.
The two were responsible for testing the road worthiness of buses at the Langlaagte vehicle testing station. They told a bus operator his buses could pass the road worthy test in exchange for money.
“Fraud and corruption derail the good intention of the existence of the rule of law and is a major set back towards the creation of safer communities.”
“Any form of bribery, including receiving monetary rewards in return for assisting vehicle operators with their road worthy certificates, will be dealt with decisively,” Gauteng Traffic spokesperson Sello Maremane said then.