In a press release sent out today, the company makes the statement: â??SANRALâ??s e-tolls ‘marketing strategy’ has always involved a strong element of fear-mongering by threatening people with criminal records and other life-changing consequences for resisting their unjust and unduly expensive system of e-tolling, and simply cannot hope to get anywhere near to anything even remotely resembling ‘compliance’ without it.â?
They went on to say, â??What is somewhat intriguing however is why it would be that the NPA would risk prosecuting people when Gauteng Premier, David Makhuraâ??s so-called ‘panel of review on e-tolling’ has just been announced to much fanfare, and will only be concluding its report and handing it to the Minister of Transport on 30 November.â?
South African laws apply to the â??here and nowâ?, and not retrospectively – therefore, should people be prosecuted and convicted whilst the â??panel of review on e-tollingâ? does its job and a conclusion reached that e-tolling should be scrapped and replaced with another, efficient and less financially burdensome system of revenue generation, those convictions would stand.
As things stand, there are well over a million people who are going to have to be prosecuted, and two prosecutors, operating in the already overburdened South African criminal justice courts system, donâ??t stand any chance of making a significant dent in this figure.
“The SANRAL strategy of prosecuting e-toll defaulters/detractors in criminal courts relies heavily on convictions being attained by the NPA, and since South Africa does still have a Constitution and functional courts; convictions for this ‘offence’ are NOT a foregone conclusion,” the statement says.
On 10 July, OUTA announced its â??Rule of Lawâ? campaign, and JPSA has come out in public support of it. We urge anyone summonsed by the NPA to approach OUTA the second that they receive summonses.