ANC veteran Tony Yengeni smelled of alcohol, his eyes were bloodshot, and he was unsteady on his feet when he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, a metro police officer testified in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Metro constable Kurt Buckton told the court he and his partner were called to the corner of Dixon and Somerset roads on the night of August 11, 2013, by a sergeant who had reported he needed assistance.
“Apparently before we arrived the accused was rather riotous with sergeant Gumba,” Buckson told the court.
He said Yengeni displayed various signs of drunk driving.
“He was not literally falling around but he could not stand still on one spot,” Buckson said.
Buckson said he noticed the animosity between Yengeni and Gumba and intervened to administer the breathalyser test.
“After speaking to him and informing him the reason for the breathalyser, he agreed and he tested positive for alcohol.”
The reading on the breathalyser test was 0,69 mg per 1,000ml, Buckson testified. This was higher than the legal limit of 0,24 mg per 1,000ml.
Yengeni was taken to the Cape Town police station where the officers registered a drunk driving case before transporting him to Athlone where a blood alcohol test was performed.
Asked whether Yengeni said anything to him in the vehicle, Buckson replied: “Mr Yengeni stated that if this happened in Joburg he would not have been arrested and this was not what he fought for in the past.”
The case was handed to the South African Police Service to pursue.
Earlier on Friday, Yengeni, dressed in a beige suit, stood in the dock listening intently as the two charges of drunk driving and reckless driving, and alternative counts of “inconsiderate driving” and having “an excessive amount of alcohol in his blood” was put to him by the magistrate.
Yengeni told the court he understood the charges and wished to plead not guilty.
His advocate, Dirk Uys, said Yengeni would not immediately disclose the nature of his defence, but indicated: “The blood sample taken from the accused, we will allege was taken in contravention on his constitutional rights to privacy.”
Yengeni was arrested in 2013 after law enforcement officers noticed him driving his luxury sports car erratically in the Cape Town CBD.
The ANC National Executive Committee member was also arrested for drunk driving in 2007, but was found not guilty in the ensuing trial after it transpired that his blood samples had been tampered with.
– African News Agency (ANA)