Station head ‘behind falsities’

2009-06-18 20:06

Cape Town - Former Goodwood police station commander Siphiwo Hewana dictated the falsities inserted in Tony Yengeni's drunk driving docket, the Parow Regional Court heard on Thursday.

Constables Charles Japhta and Jeremy Voskuil testified that Hewana told them what to write in order to protect the former ANC chief whip.

Voskuil said he and Japhta sat at a conference table in Hewana's office while Hewana dictated falsities they had to write in statements to be placed in the docket.

They had to write that Yengeni - when asked if had consumed alcohol - said he had taken medication for flu.

Told to say they drove for hours

They also had to state, falsely, that they did not take Yengeni immediately for a blood test.

They were told to say they drove around for hours in search of breathalyser equipment, and that they had finally returned to the Goodwood police station for the equipment.

Voskuil tetsified: "As I finished the false statement, I knew it was wrong but Hewana said not to worry ... there would be no come-back because the people would look after us.

"Disgusted as I was in myself, I just left Hewana's office when I had finished the statement, and did not wait to see what transpired further between Hewana and Japhta."

Voskuil said he had four days' rest, and on his return to the Goodwood police station his shift commander, a woman captain Adonis, had asked him what had transpired in Hewana's office.

Voskuil told the court: "I said I would rather not talk about it, but she then told me that Hewana had asked her to say that Yengeni's arrest had happened at 21:00, instead of in the early hours, as it had in fact happened.

"I then told her what had happened in Hewana's office."

No permanent job reward

Asked by prosecutor Barry van der Berg why he had made the false statement, he replied: "I felt threatened and that there was no other way out for me, although I knew that what I had done was wrong."

Questioned by defence attorney Greg Duncan, Voskuil said he had been a State witness at Yengeni's drunken driving case, and that Yengeni was found not guilty.

He said the fact that he had made the false statement did not result in his permanent appointment to the police as a reward.

While he and Japhta had been in Hewana's office to make the false statement, Hewana had spoken of all the problems Yengeni's arrest was causing.

Voskuil said their statement also said falsely that Yengeni had pulled off the road of his own accord.

The matter continues on Friday.