Gauteng e-toll fraud case postponed

A man is accused of using false number plates fitted to his car to avoid paying e-toll fees.

An e-toll gantry on the N1 in Johannesburg. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The fraud case being billed as the first prosecution of an e-tolls defaulter has been postponed to allow the magistrate to consider the plea agreement.

Dr Stoyen Stoychev appeared briefly in the Pretoria magistrates court today where the matter was postponed until next month.

He allegedly used false number plates fitted to his car to avoid paying e-toll fees.

Stoychev faces 987 counts of failing to pay e-tolls - one count for every time he drove beneath a gantry with altered number plates fitted to his vehicle.

The indictment states that Stoychev allegedly used these number plates from March 2014 until he was arrested in October that year.

It's alleged he first altered his number plate by changing the letter 'C' to the letter 'O', but later he fitted a false plate where the number zero-six was changed to six-zero.

When police arrested Stoychev, that number plate was fitted to his car with cable ties.

In total Stoychev racked up toll fees worth R13,000.

The magistrate postponed the matter, saying the seriousness of the case and the fact that it involved e-tolls required him to apply his mind.

The state says it has struck a plea deal with Stoychev but this is expected to be finalised at his court appearance next month.