'I took 3 sips of traditional beer the day of drunken driving arrest' - Yengeni

2016-05-20 16:30
Tony Yengeni

Tony Yengeni

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Cape Town – ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni said just three sips of traditional African beer passed his lips the day he was arrested on a charge of drunken driving in 2013.

He had been at a family gathering with a traditional ceremony in Gugulethu early in the afternoon and had nothing else to drink, he testified during his trial in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

He said he had drunk umqombothi (home-brewed beer) many times before without incident, and it had a low alcohol content compared to spirits.

Yengeni, 61, was arrested in Green Point, Cape Town, after being pulled over while apparently driving his white Maserati erratically.

Prosecutor Leon Snyman probed him on how he drove that night, comparing his answers with what was seen in video footage.

At times, Yengeni, who described himself as a business consultant and not a government official, said he could not recall something or did not answer the question.

He said he had told his lawyers he felt the video had no relevance to his case.

Snyman said the video was an integral part of the case because it showed him almost hitting a curb and changing lanes in an intersection.

“A video doesn’t lie. It can’t be manipulated it is there. You said the video is wrong,” he said.

Yengeni replied, “I was driving normally as far as I am concerned… I watched the video and I can’t say I did anything wrong.”

Snyman said Yengeni’s car was out of the video screen “at a rate of knots” and made other cars look slow.

“A Maserati is a fast car,” Yengeni replied to chuckles in the court room.

The politician shared suspicions about his prosecution and the possibility of a conspiracy against him.

He said a a politician released a statement after his arrest, saying he should be prosecuted.

“To me that indicated there is a political element to the case,” he said.

“This politician made a comment about the case that is why I thought there was a conspiracy.”

The matter was postponed to June 7.

In a separate matter in 2007, Yengeni was found not guilty of drunk driving after he was arrested in Goodwood, Cape Town.

Read more on:    tony yengeni  |  cape town

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