Driven mad: ‘They gave my licence to somebody else’
Limpopo man is at his wits' end as it appears his driver's licence has been issued, just not to him
What was supposed to be a simple visit to the traffic department to renew his driver’s licence has turned out to be a nightmare for 28-year-old Mashudu Tshifura.
Because when he arrived at the licensing department at his hometown in Sibasa, Limpopo, last month, he was told it will not be possible to renew his licence because he had already renewed it in August.
It had been renewed and collected at the Midrand Licensing Department, 600km away, they said.
Tshifura, who works in the marketing department at a large Johannesburg firm, said his life is now a mess.
“My work involves a lot of driving. At the moment I’m unable to execute my daily duties as I can’t drive with an expired licence. My employer has to find me a driver every time when I have to go out to work, or hire a shuttle for me. This is a huge inconvenience.
“Officials in Sibasa told me that there was nothing that they could do to help me. They referred me to Midrand Licensing Department and also advised me to open a criminal case with the police,” Tshifura explained.
In desperation, he said he visited the licensing department in Midrand, but that merely served to confirm the situation: his licence had been issued to another person.
He was shocked and surprised that the photo, fingerprints and code on the licence had been changed. He said officials at the department showed him the new details on the system, although his name and ID number had not changed.
“I can only conclude that a corrupt official is involved in this matter. Officials in the licensing department are the only ones who have access to change details on the system,” Tshifura said.
The only link he had with the Midrand Licensing Department was in November 2012 when he took – and failed – his driver’s licence test there. He passed the test in 2013 at Malamulele, Limpopo.
“I think they still had my details on the system in Midrand, hence it was easy for them to issue my licence to someone else.”
Tshifura opened a case of fraud with the police in Midrand, but was told the matter had been transferred to Olifanstfontein police station because the place where the alleged crime took place falls under its jurisdiction.
Now the docket seems to be missing.
“When I went to follow up at Olifantsfontein on the status of the investigation, they told me that they have not received the docket. I went back to Midrand police station, where I originally opened the case, and they told me they’ve sent the docket to Olifantsfontein already. I really don’t know what to do at the moment. The police officer that helped me said it could be that the docket is missing,” Tshifura said.
Meanwhile, he may not drive his own car or company vehicles, and he said officials at the licensing department said they could not give him a temporary licence.
“I really hoped the police will investigate this matter and get to the bottom of what really happened. Police investigations would really help me with fighting the licensing department as they are at fault here,” Tshifura said.
The City of Joburg Licensing Department, which was sent questions last week Wednesday, promised Times Select it would respond by Tuesday.
The Gauteng police said they were still awaiting feedback from the Midrand police station.