Publication: Pretoria News Issued: Date: 2002-07-24 Reporter: Editor:

Judge Slams Brakes on Yengeni's Offroad Bid


Publication  Pretoria News
Date 2002-07-24
Reporter Zelda Venter
Web Link


Tony Yengeni and German businessman Michael Woerfel's desperate bid to quash charges against them has failed.

The Pretoria High Court on Wednesday turned down an application to have some of the corruption charges against the former ANC chief whip and his co-accused dropped.

Transvaal Judge President Bernard Ngoepe said he was not satisfied that there would be a grave injustice if the criminal trial continued.

Prosecutor Jan Henning, SC, said he would proceed in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday and put the charges to Yengeni and Woerfel. They will then be expected to plead.

Yengeni and Woerfel are facing charges of fraud and corruption following a 47 percent discount Yengeni received on a luxury 4x4 vehicle. The state claims it was an attempt to influence Yengeni to use his power as Parliament defence committee chair to sway the arms acquisition process.

The trial magistrate, Bill Moyses, had turned down Yengeni and Woerfel's objections to the charge sheet. The pair argued that the sheet did not disclose any offence.

They asked Ngoepe to review and set aside Moyses's finding that the charge sheet was sufficient.

Yengeni also claimed that he had parliamentary immunity from prosecution.

With acknowledgements to Zelda Venter and Pretoria News.