Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2006-05-17 Reporter:

Yengeni's Bail Extended Pending Appeal Petition



Mail and Guardian



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The bail of former African National Congress chief whip Tony Yengeni was extended by the Pretoria High Court on Wednesday, pending a petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal to appeal against his four-year jail sentence.

Judges Eberhardt Bertelsmann and Ferdi Preller extended Yengeni's bail pending the serving of a petition on the president of the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against his sentence, and any subsequent appeal if his petition is successful.

His R10 000 bail was, however, increased to R30 000. 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 every week and was ordered to hand in his passport for safekeeping.

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

Yengeni was sentenced in March 2003 in the Pretoria Regional Court to four years imprisonment under Section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act -- which means he has to serve eight months in effect -- for defrauding Parliament about a discount he had received on a 4x4 Mercedes-Benz.

Bertelsmann and Preller dismissed Yengeni's appeal in November against his conviction and sentence and earlier this year refused him leave to appeal against his sentence.

The judges rejected Yengeni's claim that he had entered into a plea bargain agreement with former head of prosecution Bulelani Ngcuka that would have kept him out of jail. Yengeni insisted he was innocent and only agreed to the deal to avoid a protracted and expensive trial.

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

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

The judges said Yengeni had not only failed to enter and disclose the benefit to Parliament, but had repeatedly, dishonestly and calculatedly denied receiving the benefit.

With acknowledgement to the Mail and Guardian.