Tony Yengeni allegedly refused a Cape Town metro police officer’s order to blow into a Breathalyser.
The head of the ANC’s political school – who is responsible for instilling the party’s cadres with a strong sense of ethics and a deep desire to serve the public – was caught driving allegedly drunk in the early hours of last Sunday.
He was behind the wheel of a white Maserati GranCabrio, which is one of two Maseratis registered in his name.
Yengeni was initially bust, it has emerged, not because the Metro officer thought he may have been drinking, but because the white Maserati had no front number plate.
According to waiters, the flamboyant and stocky Yengeni is a familiar face at Cubana Bar, which is right across from where Yengeni was stopped.
But they say he had not been at Cubana that particular evening.
City Press has learnt that a Metro officer spotted Yengeni driving on Buitengracht Street in Cape Town’s city centre without a front number plate.
When he was pulled off on Somerset Road, Green Point, and asked for his driver’s licence, the officer became suspicious, a source with close knowledge of the incident told City Press.
Yengeni was asked to blow into a Breathalyser. He allegedly refused, but after back up was called, the source claimed, he complied.
It is against the law to refuse to give a breath or a blood sample if an officer of the law asks a motorist to give one.
Yengeni allegedly tested three times higher than the legal breath alcohol limit, registering 0.69mg of breath per litre of alcohol on the test.
Blood samples were taken from Yengeni at the provincial anti-alcohol centre in Athlone and sent to a forensic laboratory.
The legal blood-alcohol level is 0.05mg per 100ml, while that of professional drivers, like truck and bus drivers, is 0.02mg per 100ml.
Yengeni’s blood-alcohol results are expected in a few months’ time.
He spent the night in the police cells and was released the following day and is due back in court on March 4 next year.
Yengeni owns two Maseratis – last year’s GranCabrio model and a silver GranTurismo – as well as a VW Polo and a Mini registered in his name, an impeccable source has told City Press.
Yengeni did not respond to several calls and SMSes this week.
In response to questions, his wife Lumka said that she would not ask her husband to confirm.
“I don’t see any sense in that. I’m going now. Talk to me another time,” she said.
Called for comment about Yengeni’s alleged drunk driving, the ANC said it was a private matter and that the governing party would not comment.
Yengeni was convicted of fraud in 2003 for failing to declare a discount on a Mercedes-Benz ML 350 he received from an arms dealer. He served just four months of a four-year sentence.
His cars have landed him in trouble with the law before:
» In January 2007, he was released on parole, and was still on parole when he drove his black BMW across the middle island on Voortrekker Road in Goodwood, Cape Town. He was charged with drunk driving but acquitted.
» In 2011, it was reported that insurance giant Sanlam had, since 2005, paid out nine claims for damage to Yengeni’s cars. The cars included a Mercedes-Benz, a BMW M5, and 2009 BMW X5 and X6 models.
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