Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2006-05-17 Reporter: Sapa

Yengeni’s Bail Trebled Pending Last-Ditch Plea



Business Day

Date 2006-05-18



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Bail for former African National Congress chief whip Tony Yengeni was increased threefold and extended by the Pretoria High Court yesterday, pending an appeal against his four-year jail sentence, which was imposed three years ago.

Judges Eberhardt Bertelsmann and Ferdi Preller increased Yengeni’s R10000 bail to R30000 and extended it pending a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against his sentence.

He was given until the end of the day to pay the additional bail.

He must also report to the Milnerton police station in Cape Town twice a week, and was ordered to hand in his passport.

If his appeal fails, Yengeni will have to report to the Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town within 72 hours to start serving his sentence.

In March 2003 the Pretoria Regional Court sentenced Yengeni to four years in prison for defrauding Parliament about a discount he had received on a 4x4 Mercedes-Benz.

Bertelsmann and Preller dismissed Yengeni’s previous appeal in November against his conviction and sentence.

Earlier this year they refused him leave to appeal against their verdict.

The judges rejected Yengeni’s claim that he had entered into a plea-bargain agreement with former prosecutions head Bulelani Ngcuka that would have kept him out of jail.

Yengeni insisted he agreed to the deal only to avoid a protracted and expensive trial.

The judges criticised former justice minister Penuell Maduna and Ngcuka for meeting Yengeni in 2003 to discuss his possible sentence.

They said Yengeni was different from an ordinary citizen because he was a public official who had abused his position of trust for years.

With acknowledgement to Sapa and Business Day.