Cape Town – Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle has shut down a vehicle testing station which certified a bus involved in an accident in which 14 children were killed outside Knysna last month.
Carlisle said on Tuesday morning that he was “personally” shutting down TJ Motor Vehicle Testing Station, which tested and certified the Tata bus on 14 April 2011.
“We will today confiscate all TJ’s records for our ongoing investigation,” Carlisle said.
“If vehicle testing stations issue fraudulent roadworthy certificates then that chain of safety snaps – too often only to be found out when there is a terrible crash that kills more innocents.
“Therefore, when we do uncover malpractice we must deal with it as harshly as possible.”
Carlisle said he had two affidavits from members of the departmental investigation team “evidencing to alleged criminal activity” by a man identified as the owner and examiner of vehicles at TJ.
“This represents non-compliance with the National Road Traffic Act … and the National Road Traffic Regulations of 2000,” Carlisle said.
Chrisfred Naude, an inspector with the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works’ Compliance Monitoring Unit and head of the investigation team, has alleged the man tested and certified the bus as roadworthy while it was not in a roadworthy condition.
“Last night Naude opened a case of corruption against [the TJ owner] at the George Police Station on behalf of the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works,” Carlisle said.
“The case number is George CAS313/9/2011 and the docket has been transferred to the Commercial Crimes Unit.”