The Cape Town Regional Court has found African National Congress (ANC) NEC member Tony Yengeni guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The court, however, did not find him guilty on a charge of reckless or negligent driving. He was sentenced to a R30 000 fine or 90 days in jail, on the condition that he is not again convicted of driving while under the influence or found driving while his blood alcohol level is more than 0.05g per 100ml during the five-year period of the suspension.
His driving license was also not suspended because he needed his license for work.
Handing down judgment in court on Friday, Magistrate Grant Engel said Yengeni was guilty of “driving under influence of intoxicating liquor”.
On August 12, 2013, Yengeni was arrested in Green Point while apparently driving his white Maserati erratically.
The ANC NEC member had maintained his innocence and testified in the court that he took only three sips of traditional African beer on the day he was arrested.
He admitted that he was at a family gathering for a traditional ceremony in Gugulethu earlier in the afternoon and had had nothing else to drink.
In 2016, a video footage shown in court captured Yengeni driving that night. His car was seen approaching an intersection in Green Point and then cross the barrier line.
He later claimed that his arrest was politically conspired by his political rivals – the Democratic Alliance.
Advocate Dirk Uijs, for Yengeni, at the time, handed documents to Magistrate Grant Engel in a bid to validate the defence’s contention that the case was a political conspiracy.
The documents included a statement by DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard released the day after Yengeni’s arrest, as well as an e-mail written by a senior prosecutor to the forensic laboratory instructing them to expedite the analysis of his blood sample.
This is the second time drunk driving charges were leveled against Tony Yengeni. In 2007, he was acquitted on drunk driving charges.
A previous attempt to have the charges withdrawn was dismissed by the Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions.