Hewana ‘wanted to protect image’

2009-06-19 22:06

Cape Town - Former Goodwood police chief Siphiwo Hewana changed Toni Yengeni's drunken driving docket to protect the image of his police station, the Parow Regional Court heard on Friday.

This was stated in an e-mail sent by Hewana to deputy provincial police commissioner Sindile Mfazi.

Hewana is on trial before Magistrate Elsa van Zyl, on charges of attempting to defeat the ends of justice, incitement to commit perjury and interfering with the Yengeni drunken driving police investigation.

Received information at 09:00

The e-mail, sent on December 8, 2007, was handed to the court by prosecutor Barry van der Berg.

In the e-mail, Hewana says he received information at about 09:00 on Monday, November 26, 2007, about former ANC chief whip Yengeni's arrest.

He says he mentioned the arrest to the media at 09:00 that same day.

That afternoon, however, he noticed that he had made a mistake with the time of the arrest, and he then requested the arresting police officials, constables Charles Japhta and Jeremy Voskuil to confirm the time of the arrest.

Hewana said: "They confirmed the exact time of arrest as 00:30.

Arrested in early hours

Hewana adds: "I made an appeal to Japhta and Voskuil, by requesting them that if we can agree with the time on their statements, as I have already mentioned 09:00 in the media, and that can cause a bad image to the station and the Provincial Office.

"We agreed to change the times."

Yengeni was, in fact, arrested in the early hours on Monday, November 26, 2007.

Hewana says in the e-mail that there was no intention to defeat the ends of justice, or to protect anyone in the case.

The trial was postponed to June 25.