South Africa is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. As its inhabitants, we are fortunate enough to be the home of eight world heritage sights, to communicate with each other in eleven official languages and to have our breath taken away by the beautiful views of one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain.
But we are also subjected daily struggles such as our high crime rates, rife unemployment statistics and, as if that’s not enough, the universally-wide fraud & corruption battles. To make things worse, we often have people soliciting unlawful “favours” from us or trying to do business with us outside the parameters set out by law, exposing their defeat to a moral tug of war.
This is exactly what happened to an investigator at Uphando.
The investigator had been instructed to obtain an Accident Report (AR) for a client. The AR had been sent to a municipality in Mpumalanga. A representative from the AR office in the municipality confirmed that they are in possession of the said AR.
The Public Finance Management Act has strict guidelines in place on how public and government entities have to deal with monetary transactions. It stipulates that monetary transactions can only be done in one of two ways: Either by paying in cash by visiting the municipal office in person, or via EFT using the municipal office’s banking details. She requested the municipality’s banking details to pay for the AR because, given the fact that our Gauteng regional office is situated in Bryanston and the municipal office in Mpumalanga, sending the money via EFT was the best option for us.
These guidelines were completely disregarded by the representative when he offered to assist us to obtain the accident report if we went to Shoprite MoneyMarket and transfer the cost of the AR to him personally. He stated that he would then go to Shoprite, get the money, pay for the Accident Report and then email a copy of same to us. It is highly improbable that he would have done so, and had we accepted this proposal, we would have been an accomplice in contravention an Act set out by government.
After refusing to do so and requesting to speak to management on numerous occasions, our quest to obtain this AR is still unfulfilled. The attempt by this official to solicit a bribe and the blatant audacity he displayed by even requesting for us to partake in this fraudulent and corrupt activity is incomprehensible.
Needless to say, we have reported the matter to authorities but felt it our moral duty to educate and caution others who might have otherwise fallen victim to an act of this nature.
Be aware. Know your Rights. Know the law.