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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 10:24 GMT
Jail term for ANC man
By Barnaby Phillips
BBC, Johannesburg

A prominent member of South Africa's governing African National Congress has been sentenced to four years in prison after he admitted defrauding parliament.

Tony Yengeni, the former chief whip of South Africa's parliament, was sentenced in Pretoria.

Tony Yengeni and his wife Lumka outside Cape Town court (Pic: Sunday Times of South Africa)
Yengeni plans to appeal
The case is seen as an important test of the South African Government's willingness to fight corruption.

Tony Yengeni's fall from grace has been dramatic; a flamboyant and prominent member of the ANC, and a former freedom fighter, few expected him to receive such a long prison sentence.

The judge said that Mr Yengeni had shown no remorse, and had forced the taxpayer to fund a long and costly trial.

He said the fact that Mr Yengeni had just resigned from parliament was probably the only honourable thing the court could take into account in his favour.

Luxury car

Mr Yengeni's lawyer said his client would appeal against the sentence.

Mr Yengeni was the chairman of parliament's defence committee at the time the South African Government negotiated a multi-billion dollar arms deal with companies in Europe.

Mr Yengeni received a luxury car at a substantial discount from one company involved in the deal - and then misled parliament when questioned about the car.

Several other senior officials have been implicated in investigations of the arms deal.

Deputy President Jacob Zuma denies allegations that he discussed receiving payments from one company bidding for contracts.


SEE ALSO:
Plea bargain in SA arms probe
13 Feb 03 |  Africa
Top ANC official resigns
04 Oct 01 |  Africa
Zuma rejects corruption claims
10 Feb 03 |  Africa
BAE faces African bribery probe
28 May 01 |  Business
Country profile: South Africa
10 Jan 01 |  Country profiles


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