Pretoria taxi driver gets 4-year suspended sentence for R70 ‘cold drink’ bribe

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A Pretoria taxi driver has been sentenced to four years in jail, wholly suspended, for bribing a traffic officer with R70 for a “cold drink”.

In a statement on Thursday, Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane said traffic police arrested John Mthembu, 41, in March this year in Botha Avenue in Lyttelton, Centurion, for allegedly driving an unroadworthy car.

“It was discovered that the licence disk of the vehicle had expired and there were other defects that warranted the vehicle to be discontinued from operating on a public road network,” Zwane said.

“Mthembu allegedly offered the officers R70 as a bribe to avoid the discontinuation of the vehicle and a traffic infringement fine. The officers immediately arrested him and he was charged for bribery.”

The Pretoria Regional Court found him guilty this week and handed him a four-year imprisonment term, wholly suspended for five years on condition that he is not convicted of the same offence. 

“This is a demonstration that some of our traffic officers are no longer interested in having their good name tarnished by motorists who are not prepared to obey the rules of the road,” RTMC chief executive Makhosini Msibi said. 

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