Municipal employee sentenced to house arrest for fraudulently issuing learners licences

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An uMngeni municipal employee has been sentenced to three years correctional supervision for fraudulently issuing learners licences at the Howick licensing department in KwaZulu-Natal.

Thandazile Judith Shelembe, a principal administrative clerk, was sentenced in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday.

Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane said Shelembe was also fined R9 000 or 12 months’ imprisonment.

In addition, she was handed a four-year jail term suspended for five years on condition that she is not found guilty of fraud or theft during that period.

“Other conditions are that she has to serve three years of correctional supervision. Shelembe has been placed under house arrest for the full duration of the sentence and may not leave the magisterial area in which she resides without the permission of the commissioner of correctional services.

“She has to perform free community service for 16 hours per month for the first 24 months of the sentence and must complete programmes in life orientation or any other programme that the commissioner may deem necessary at her own expense,” said Zwane.

He added Shelembe also had to refrain from using alcohol and drugs for the duration of the sentence, other than for medical reasons.

She was ordered to report to the correctional official at his designated office before midday on October 22, 2019. 

“Shelembe was arrested by the national traffic anti-corruption unit of the RTMC together with the Hawks on June 5, 2019. Her arrest followed the arrest of six officials and nine learner licence applicants on charges of fraud in March 2018. 

“She was accused of nine counts of fraud for capturing the information of applicants onto the eNaTis systems without the applicants actually completing the application and in the absence of the applicants, contrary to the National Road Traffic Act and regulations,” Zwane said.

Shelembe also captured false eye test results for nine applicants. Their eyes were never tested as prescribed.

She also captured the payment for learners licence tests and secured the test dates in the absence of the applicants contrary to legislation.

Shelembe pleaded guilty to all counts on September 6 and was convicted. 

The RTMC welcomed the sentence and hoped that it sent a message to others that crime does not pay, but had devastating consequences. 

READ: 11 employees of a Limpopo vehicle testing station, including the owner, nabbed for alleged fraud

Meanwhile, the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court has released 18 employees of a privately owned vehicle testing stations on R500 bail each.

The suspects are set to return in court on November 29. 

Zwane said the suspects were arrested last Thursday on allegations that they issued roadworthy certificates for vehicles that they did not physically examine. 

Three of the four suspects, who were arrested in Lephalale on similar charges, were released on R2 500 bail each, with the fourth one being granted bail of R1 000.

They are also expected to appear again in court on November 12.

In another similar case, 10 other suspects arrested in Marble Hall for allegedly issuing roadworthy certificates for vehicles that they did not physically examine are expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

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