Ex-cop claims conspiracy
Cape Town - Former Goodwood police station commander Siphiwo Hewana claimed in court on Thursday that criminal charges against him were a conspiracy to get rid of him.
During cross-examination by prosecutor Barry van der Berg, he said State witnesses who testified against him had lied.
His hearing, before Magistrate Elsie van Zyl in the Parow Regional Court, is a sequel to the arrest of former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni, for alleged drunken driving.
Hewana has pleaded not guilty to three charges - attempting to defeat the ends of justice, incitement to commit perjury and interfering with the Yengeni police investigation.
Hid blood sample
Hewana was disciplined for his involvement in the Yengeni investigation, and then dismissed.
Van der Berg alleges Hewana intercepted Yengeni's blood sample and placed it in a drawer in his desk, to prevent it being sent for forensic analysis.
Hewana is also alleged to have ordered that the time of Yengeni's arrest be changed from the early hours of Monday, November 26 2007 to 21:00 that Sunday night.
In Thursday's proceedings, Hewana, 48, told the court he was informed of the arrest that Monday by an Inspector Lock.
Questioned by defence attorney Greg Duncan, Hewana denied Lock had stated the time as being the early hours of Monday, and that he (Hewana) had requested that the time be changed to 21:00 that Sunday.
When Lock informed him of the arrest, Lock requested that others present in Hewana's office leave, as he wished to inform Hewana of a "very sensitive matter".
Lock had then given him details of the arrest, as furnished to Lock by the arresting police constables, Jeremy Voskuil and Charles Japhta.
Calls from media
Hewana denied informing Lock he had instructions from Western Cape Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros, to "do something" about the Yengeni blood sample, or "assist" Yengeni.
He added: "At no stage did I request Lock to bring me the blood sample."
Shortly after his discussion with Lock, Hewana received calls from the media, to confirm the arrest and the time it had happened.
Hewana also denied requesting Voskuil and Japhta to discuss the arrest with him in the privacy of his office.
Hewana said Petros had telephoned him about information Hewana had given the Sunday Times. He had to fax to Petros a list of the questions he had been asked, and his answers.
The trial continues on Friday.