Drunk driving case against Yengeni postponed

The drunken driving case against ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni was postponed by the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

He was not asked to plead in an appearance before Cape Town magistrate Nasha Banwari.

Yengeni, dressed in a suit, arrived at court during the morning tea adjournment, accompanied by his legal representative Sylvester Vogel. He was arrested late on August 11, after City of Cape Town law enforcement officials saw him allegedly driving his Maserati erratically near the intersection of Somerset and Dixon roads in the Cape Town city centre.

He was released on bail of R500 and was warned to appear in court on March 4.

In a statement issued after his arrest, the city's safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said Yengeni had been one of 52 people arrested during a weekend operation.

Smith alleged that at least one of Yengeni's car's number plates was missing at the time.

He said a screening device indicated that Yengeni was "substantially over" the legal blood-alcohol level of 0.05%. For this reason, Yengeni was taken to the "shadow centre" in Athlone for a blood sample to be taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Inadequate details
In Tuesday's proceedings, Yengeni's lawyer said he had received details of the charge from prosecutor Brian Hugh. However, the details were inadequate and he had requested "further and better particulars" from the state. 

Once he had received these, he would decide whether to make written representations to the National Prosecuting Authority for the withdrawal of the charge, he said.

At Tuesday's proceedings, the charge sheet did not indicate what Yengeni's blood-alcohol level was.

In 2007, Yengeni was arrested in Goodwood, Cape Town, on a charge of drunken driving but was found not guilty.

At the time of his arrest in Goodwood, he was out on parole after his 2003 conviction for fraud. Yengeni was warned to appear in court again on June 3. – Sapa

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