Yengeni 'looking forward' to end of drunk driving trial

2016-10-28 21:06
Tony Yengeni. (File)

Tony Yengeni. (File)

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Cape Town - Closing arguments in ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni's drunk driving trial will be heard in December, the Cape Town Magistrate's Court announced on Friday.

Magistrate Grant Engel received a transcript of the proceedings, which have seen a number of postponements since Yengeni's arrest in 2013.

The State and defence were given direction on final preparations ahead of closing arguments on December 13.

Yengeni, who previously described himself on the stand as a business consultant and not a government official, was not in court on Friday, by agreement.

A warrant of arrest was held over until his next appearance.

Defence lawyer Waheed Badrodien said outside court that his client was looking forward to the matter being finalised "one way or the other".

Three sips of African beer

READ: Men in black interfered in Yengeni arrest, court told

"It hasn't been easy for him either. He has been travelling, shuttling between Johannesburg and Cape Town for the past year-and-a-half," he said.

"It is coming as a huge cost to him, this matter. That's just how it goes."

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

He previously testified that just three sips of traditional African beer passed his lips that day.

He told the court he had been at a family gathering for a traditional ceremony in Gugulethu early in the afternoon and had nothing else apart from the three sips to drink.

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

'Fast car'

The State had revealed that video evidence was an integral part of the case because it showed him almost hitting a curb and changing lanes at an intersection.

At the time of being questioned about the video, Yengeni replied he was driving normally.

"I watched the video and I can't say I did anything wrong."

When the prosecutor said his car was out of the video screen "at a rate of knots" and made other cars look slow, he replied: "A Maserati is a fast car.”

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

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  |  judiciary
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