Mava B Scott tells the facts but misses their meaning, No facts in frenzy (January 18).
In justifying Tony Yengeni serving a sixth of his sentence, Scott fails to ask why he was charged under section 271(1) of the Criminal Procedures Act at all. The answer is the plea bargain: seeing that a R5000 fine (the original deal) would too obviously be a let-off, Yengeni was offered the lightest rap on the knuckles possible — early release and prison comforts and an African National Congress (ANC) pension in return for pleading guilty and keeping arms deal backhanders out of court and the news.
Why else did Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour show his face before Yengeni’s release if not to ensure he knew the rewards for keeping quiet, and why else would Yengeni emerge so unrepentant?
South Africans are not stupid: we see a cover-up of how many ANC snouts were in the arms deal trough, how many tax rands went into weapons we do not need, and payoffs we do not want, and how the machinery of law is being abused.