Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane. Picture: MDUDUZI NDZINGI/SOWETAN
Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane. Picture: MDUDUZI NDZINGI/SOWETAN

Nine officials at Gauteng vehicle testing stations have been arrested for running a traffic fines and false documents ring that the provincial government has estimated to be worth R80m.

They are accused of fraudulently canceling traffic fines and other related documents.

The Gauteng government said on Friday that after a "thorough and wide-ranging investigation"‚ which started last year‚ authorities discovered that the suspects have been allocating outstanding traffic violation fines to deceased people‚ which enabled them to process false documents for the actual offenders.

The sting operation started on Thursday and led to the arrest of four officials from the Germiston testing station. The other five officials were from the Bedfordview and Alberton testing stations

Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane commended officers from the Gauteng traffic police‚ Road Traffic Management Corporation and the South African Police Service for "rooting out criminal elements" at the testing centres.

Said Nkosi-Malobane: "These are meant to be centres of excellence where we ensure that roadworthy vehicles and the fitness of drivers are tested before they are cleared to be on our roads. I have been advocating a message of road safety [and] rooting out corruption — and we will not hesitate to deal decisively with any element that stands on our way to achieve this goal."