Police report contains inconsistensies

A senior Cape Town policeman might face disciplinary charges after making conflicting statements at the time former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni was arrested for drunk driving.

A senior Cape Town policeman might face disciplinary charges after making conflicting statements at the time former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni was arrested for drunk driving.

Western Cape provincial commissioner Mzwandile Petros said yesterday Goodwood station commissioner Senior Superintendent Siphiwe Hewana was served with a notice of suspension earlier in the day.

Hewana has 48 hours to respond, Petros said.

The step follows news reports that police might have bungled the arrest by delaying taking a blood-alcohol sample before the accepted two-hour window lapsed.

One newspaper yesterday quoted Hewana as saying the sample was taken only "about three-and-a-half hours" later.

But Petros, speaking at a media briefing, was at pains to insist that officers in this case had followed procedure and that the blood was taken not more than an hour-and-a-half after the arrest.

This was "well within the time", he said.

Yengeni is on parole after serving a few months' jail time for his 2003 conviction for defrauding parliament by failing to disclose a discount on a 4x4 Mercedes-Benz. He was arrested in Goodwood on the night of Sunday, November 25, after his black BMW swerved and landed on a traffic island.

Petros said the time of arrest was correctly stated on the case docket as 12.30am on Monday, November 26, and this was the time Hewana initially gave in writing in a report to the provincial office.

Later in the week, Petros said he "picked up" an inconsistency - 9pm on Sunday was given as the time of arrest.

He asked Hewana about this and Hewana replied, again in writing, that the arrest happened at 9pm.

Petros said that following an investigation by the provincial head of detectives, Commissioner Thulani Ntobela, he summoned Hewana to his office yesterday morning to challenge him on the inconsistency.

He said once Hewana had responded to the notice of suspension, he would apply his mind on whether to suspend the officer. - Sapa

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