Ngwako Modjadji
2 minute read
15 Aug 2013
5:17 am

Yengeni case ‘will test new committee’

Ngwako Modjadji

African National Congress heavyweight Tony Yengeni's case will be a significant test for the party's new integrity committee, a political analyst said yesterday.

FILE PICTURE: Tony Yengeni. Picture: Ayi Leshabane.

Yengeni was arrested at the weekend for alleged drunk driving in Cape Town. He is out on bail and will appear in court next year.

In what may be construed as a sign that the committee is toothless, it is yet to take action against Yengeni for bringing the party into disrepute.

Wits University political analyst Daryl Glaser said yesterday that the Yengeni case could be significant.

“It appears to be a fairly straightforward case and it is not clear why it should not be dealt with swiftly.

“The committee is a promising new development, long overdue in a party weighed down with corruption at all levels, but it has yet to demonstrate it has teeth,” he said.

ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said the party did not know if the committee or any other party structure would take action against Yengeni.

“This is a legal matter and the ANC will refrain from commenting about it,” he said.

Independent political analyst Ralph Mathekga said Yengeni might be censured for embarrassing the party.

“Yengeni is a very senior member of the ANC, and he also heads their political school. He is active within the party, but not outside it, therefore he is not in government,” Mathekga said.

He said if Yengeni was found guilty he might have to apologise to the party.

“While the charges he is facing are serious, their impact on the integrity of the party might be seen as limited because he does not hold a public position outside the party,” he said.

At its 53rd national conference in Mangaung, Free State, last year the ANC resolved to set up the integrity committee at all levels of the organisation. The committee, which is comprised of ANC veterans Andrew Mlangeni and Frene Ginwala, has powers to suspend or dismiss members accused of corruption or other misdemeanours without waiting for the conclusion of a protracted legal processes.

Yengeni, who is a member of the ANC’s national executive committee and head of political education for the party, was previously caught driving his Maserati without a front number plate and with an expired licence disc.

He has also been found guilty of fraud relating to the arms deal. He was released on parole in 2007 after serving four months of
his four-year sentence for this offence.