SANRAL welcomes the court’s decision in the case of Dr Stoyen Stoychev – the road user who through a number of ways, such as falsification of his number plate, defacement thereof and driving without one, avoided paying e-tolls.
“We believe that the plea agreement is fair. Not only to Dr Stoychev, but also the victims – in this case both the state and an innocent person whose license number he cloned.
“We thank the police and the National Prosecuting Authority. Justice has been served,” said Vusi Mona, communications manager of the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL).
The court handed down a sentence of a R20 000 fine with the alternative of six months in jail on the count of fraud over the period 10 March 2014 to 2 October 2014. In addition he has to perform 100 hours of community service at the SPCA.
The penalty for evading e-tolls was the same, but was wholly suspended on condition that he pays his e-toll debt, is not convicted in future for the same offence and he must reimburse all expenses he ran up for the person whose license number he had cloned.
Determining the offences beyond reasonable doubt – the evidentiary requirement – was made possible because of the technology of the gantries. Both front and back number plates of all highway users are photographed and stored. If the numbers are not the same, an alarm is raised – particularly when the same vehicle drives the same route everyday with different number plates or none at all.
“Although this case has shown one of the advances of the system – its superior technology – it is also disheartening that the accused works for a state entity. His conduct is unbecoming of a man in his position and very regrettable. As public servants we must be exemplary,” said Mona.
“We hope that the public will see this case for what it is. That evading e-tolls is a criminal offence. So we are happy with the outcome of the case and that the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offence.”
Video: Etoll Court Case: The Facts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgZ92p7DgzE