‘JHB motorist was guilty of falsifying plates, not avoiding e-tolls’

Outa’s Wayne Duvenage says Stoychev was fined R20,000 because he changed his number plates.

FILE: Dr Stoyan Stoychev will also have to pay the Sanral R13,200 in outstanding toll fees. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Opposition to Urban Tolling alliance (Outa) says Thursday's court case involving a Gauteng motorist who was fined R20,000 has nothing to do with evading e-tolls.

Dr Stoyan Stoychev appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to fraud for altering his number plates in order to avoid paying e-tolls.

Outa's Wayne Duvenage says Stoychev was fined because he changed his number plates.

"Firstly, it was very silly of Mr Stoychev to do that. He has opened himself up to being extorted by Sanral. But in actual fact this has nothing to do with not paying e-tolls; this is about false number plates, and that's what he's guilty of."

Stoychev pleaded guilty to 987 counts of failing to pay e-tolls, a count for each gantry he drove under without paying.

He was fined R20,000 and will also have to pay the South African National Roads Agency Limited R13,200 in outstanding toll fees.

From December 2013 until March the following year, Stoychev used the freeway system but simply didn't pay the fees.

Between March and August he started using an altered number plate.

Then, between August and October, he fitted a false number plate to his vehicle.