Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Corruption in the office?

Is there corruption in our traffic service, are we the public victims of a corrupt licensing office or are we, blowing the whole issue far out of proportion in an attempt to cover our own faults and problems when it comes to being able to obtain a license? To investigate this claim I went out to interview a few members of our society, who claimed to have been victims of corruption with regard to the Traffic Office’s in South Africa Namely KZN, as well as interviewing a number of people who deal with the traffic office on a regular basis.

The first question of substance, aside from his name and contact details, asked, to the recipient of a new driver’s license, was simple. How did you acquire the license? And as can be assumed, he stated that, “I got it by passing my test.” To be honest I was not truly happy with his answer. I had watched his test according to the national standers of testing as I understand it, he should not have been passed. He had hit a pole twice and had rolled on his hill start, if only by a fraction. Hence further along in the interview, I asked if he had encountered any evidence of corruption, and again his answer, while hesitant, was still “No”. As much as I would have liked to have researched further into the boys testing situation, for legal issues I could not and so I moved onto another person on the testing ground. Yet interviewing her and two others, I was still not sporting any enlightening testimonials, and had very little evidence of corruption within the system.

To expand my search, I then interviewed a prominent driving school within the Pinetown area looking for any signs of malpractice or under-the-table deals. Yet it seemed that I was getting little or no luck from that route either. After two interviews there where still very few hints of corruption from within the system, and even less from those whom I suspected where involved in the any form of corruption.

To me there were only two conclusions, from all the evidence I pulled together from my personal digging, I was able to come up with numerous incidences where acts of corruption may (and I believe did), take place. Incidences such as the passing of, students who have clearly failed, stories from anonymous members of society about under the table deals, and in one particular care, a student who’s instructor bribed the officer to pass her. This led me to believe that there was definitely a web of corruption within the traffic Office’s of KZN, but it was being kept in the dark by the unwillingness of victims of corruption to talk about it, due to the possible fear of prosecution or the loss of there license. Or that, as I still have no actual hard evidence of corruption there is none, and that the department is as clean as they present themselves. In either case more digging will have to be done to confirm either way. Yet for now I will leave it up to the reader to make his or her own mind up.


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