JOHANNESBURG – Judge Bill Prinsloo this morning dismissed the Road Traffic Infringement Agency’s (RTIA’s) application for leave to appeal his earlier judgment which had ruled the RTIA had acted unlawfully in its handling of numerous traffic fines. The RTIA was also ordered to pay the costs of the application.
In his judgment, Prinsloo said there was no reasonable prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion. In its original arguments, the RTIA said that the issue only affected those who originally brought the case. However, in applying for leave to appeal, the case was described as having national importance. Prinsloo’s judgment said: “…the apparent change of stance by the fourth respondent [the RTIA] is difficult to understand or, with respect, take seriously”. The judgment ends a protracted battle between Fines 4 U (Pty) Ltd (a member of JPSA), Audi Johannesburg and the RTIA which started in 2013. Although the RTIA has the option to petition the Supreme Court of Appeals, it is highly unlikely that the SCA will find any differently and JPSA urged the RTIA to stop wasting taxpayers’ money trying to defend the indefensible.
“If the RTIA simply complied with the prescripts of the AARTO Act, matters like this can be avoided entirely,” said Howard Dembovsky, National Chairman of JPSA. “Instead, it has adopted an attitude of ‘the end justifies the means’ from the outset of the current experimental implementation of the AARTO Act in the jurisdictions of the Cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane. “
The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) has done similar, as was demonstrated in the December 2014 report of the Public Protector entitled ‘a matter of interpretation’ which found the City of Johannesburg and the JMPD had flouted the AARTO Act and, as a result, engaged in maladministration from 1 April 2010 to 22 December 2012.
“JPSA congratulates Fines 4 U and Audi Johannesburg for having the moral fortitude to stand up to the unlawful bullying tactics of the RTIA and going the distance in bringing this matter to its logical conclusion,” Dembovsky added.
“The sooner that the RTIA and all of the traffic law enforcement authorities in South Africa come to the realisation that traffic fines cannot be used to drive revenue budgets and must be compliant with the prescripts of the law, the better off we will all be,” he concluded.