Confiscated driver’s licence havoc

Denvor Lourens holds the proof of payment for his new driver’s licence after a metro traffic officer confiscated his original
Picture: Tremaine van Aardt

George man sues after he lost job, had to move

A former George resident is taking the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to book after a traffic officer confiscated his driver’s licence a year ago, bringing the man’s life to a screeching halt.

Denvor Lourens, 36, now a North End resident, moved to Port Elizabeth a year ago after his contract as a truck driver failed to be renewed as he did not have a driver’s licence.

He has incurred thousands of rands in debt due to the licence debacle and is demanding to be paid back the R15 000 he spent in getting a new card.

A traffic officer waved him down for a routine check in Govan Mbeki Avenue on March 26 last year and discovered the licence disk on his newly purchased Honda had expired.

The traffic officer then confiscated Lourens’s driver’s licence until he got the vehicle registered.

But while the vehicle licence was renewed that day, Lourens has yet to get his original driver’s licence back.

However, now armed with lawyers’ letters and documented proof of the expenses to get a new driver’s licence, Lourens said he would not rest until he had been compensated.

“I was in PE to buy a Honda. After purchasing the car I headed straight to the post office to renew the licence. On my way a traffic officer pulled me over in Govan Mbeki Avenue.

“He asked for my driver’s licence. He went to check the disk and, despite me telling him I was on my way to renew it, he confiscated my licence and told me to go,” he said.

“A few minutes later I realised he couldn’t do that, but by the time I returned he had gone,” Lourens said.

The ordeal which followed saw Lourens visit the Korsten Traffic Department more than 20 times, the fire department and eventually he had a consultation with JCM attorneys which issued a letter of demand on March 24.

“Our client has suffered amino injuria, loss of income, pain and humiliation, as a result of the actions of this officer,” a letter written by lawyer Glynis Thorne of JCM Attorneys said.

“We therefore demand an urgent response as our client continues to suffer damages daily, and is at present in PE anticipating relief to go home.”

It goes on to demand the R15 000 required to get the new driver’s licence.

The R15 000 includes expenses such as petrol, food, renewal of driver’s licence and eye tests, as well as bus tickets for 10 trips from George to Port Elizabeth.

Lourens said: “I have to work odd jobs just to feed my wife and I. I had to sell some of my belongings in order to get money to live day to day.

“But I will not stop until I get what is owed to me, I have come too far to give up now.

“I had to leave my old life behind. My wife and I are now renting a place in PE until this is resolved because I could no longer afford to travel between PE and George. I even had to return the Honda I bought which started all of this.”

Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said: “The municipality acknowledges the merit in Mr Lourens’s case and we confirm that the incident did occur.”

He said the matter was being handled by the municipality’s legal services directorate.

“We will update as soon as the matter is finalised. The officer involved will be dealt with in terms of internal processes.”

On Lourens’s compensation, Mniki said: “The legal opinion provided by the legal services directorate will determine the outcome of this case, including the details around compensation.”

Leave a Reply