R600,000 for wrongful arrest

2009-06-08 16:33

Thabisile Khoza

Mbabane - A South African man who was wrongfully arrested by Swaziland police nine years ago for possession of drugs has been awarded nearly R600 000 in compensation.

Bambelela Boyce, 39, was arrested on August 3, 2000, by Swaziland police at the Oshoek border post for allegedly smuggling dagga into South Africa.

He was imprisoned and only acquitted and released in December, by which time he had been fired from his job.

“At the time of my arrest I was employed as a financial advisor based in Nelspruit. I was of service to clients in Nelspruit and Swaziland.

“During my arrest and incarceration I lost my job. I also lost my girlfriend, my car and my good name in society,” said Boyce in a statement read in court on Friday last week.

Swazi govt ordered to pay up

Boyce claimed R1.2m for his unlawful arrest and detention, but was initially awarded R720 000 by Judge Qinisile Mabuza in the Swaziland High Court.

The sentence was appealed and supreme court judges Michael Ramodibedi, JG Foxcroft and acting judge Stanley Maphalala reduced the amount to R593 244 76.

The Swaziland government, represented by Vuyile Dlamini, was also ordered to pay costs of the appeal.

Boyce said upon his release he tried to challenge the termination of his employment with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in South Africa but was unsuccessful.

Judge Mabuza said the wrongful arrest, unlawful lengthy period of detention and malicious prosecution was an abuse of taxpayers’ money.

Stop wrongful arrests - judge
2011-02-17 22:30

Pretoria - A North Gauteng High Court judge on Thursday rebuked the police saying it was time that those in command took measures to stop citizens from being wrongfully arrested and detained without probable cause.

"The wrongful arrest and detention of persons is an abuse of power and has the effect of eroding public confidence in the police and in the administration of justice in general," said Judge Billy Mothle.

"It detracts from the good work done by other police officers."

Mothle said more was needed to address the problem than just the award of damages.

Those in command needed to take measures to ensure that wrongful arrests were not tolerated and that people were only arrested and detained with just cause, he said.

The court heard that the right to freedom of movement was guaranteed in the Constitution and was available to all persons in the country, regardless of their age or status.

The judge awarded R50 000 damages to a 20-year-old schoolgirl of Sakhile township in Standerton after she was wrongfully arrested and detained in a police cell overnight in March 2009.

Police accused her of lying about a man's attempt to rape her.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa had admitted that the girl's arrest and detention was wrongful.

Accused of lying

The girl testified that she was 17-years-old and a high school pupil when a man entered her bedroom one night in 2009 and attacked her while she was asleep.

The intruder grabbed her underwear but she managed to run outside where members of the community came to her assistance.

Residents accompanied her back to her home where they found the intruder still inside. He was armed with a panga and appeared to be intoxicated.

The intruder ran off but the community members chased and caught him. The cellphone that was found in his possession was later handed back to her.

The girl did not report the matter to police but an officer came to her home to take a statement.

She was later called back to the police station to make more statements.

When she returned for a third time, she was interrogated and then arrested by the investigating officer, who accused her of lying.

She was held in a dirty police cell overnight before being released the next morning without any charges being laid against her.

She was never informed that she could phone her parents or warned of her rights.

The girl said she had an exam that day but could not attend school because she had problems concentrating after her experience.

She later learnt that the intruder in her room had died and that police were investigating his death- SAPA

Read more on:    police  |  nathi mthethwa - News 24 


Minister keer dat balju polisie se goed vat

2011-01-19 22:21

Philip de Bruin

Die minister van polisie het ’n dringende aansoek by die hooggeregshof in Johannesburg ingedien om te keer dat 128 stukke meubels en ander toerusting deur die balju van die hof uit die Gautengse hoofkantoor van die polisie verwyder word.

Dit het gebeur nadat mnr. Lionel Greenberg (52) van Johannesburg in Januarie 2009 ’n bevel teen die minister gekry het waarin die polisie beveel is om skadevergoeding van R75 000 aan Greenberg te betaal weens onregmatige aanhouding.

Die polisie is ook beveel om Greenberg se regskoste te betaal.

Die bevel is verlede jaar op appèl van die minister deur ’n volbank van drie regters bekragtig.

Greenberg se inhegtenisneming en aanhouding het verband gehou met ’n klag van sy vrou ingevolge die Wet op Huishoudelike Geweld.

In die appèluitspraak het een van die drie regters, me. M. Victor, in ’n minderheidsuitspraak skerp kritiek op die ondersoekbeampte, insp. M. Gouws van die Edenvale-polisie, uitgespreek.

Sy het onder meer bevind dat Gouws nie in “goeie trou” opgetree het nie en dat sy nie die reg gehad het om Greenberg se grondwetlike regte aan te tas weens “irritasie, ongeduld en om ’n lid van die publiek ’n les te leer nie”.

Ná die appèluitspraak het Greenberg ’n hofbevel gekry om beslag te lê op onder meer ’n TV, 20 lessenaars, 20 rekenaars, ’n yskas, ’n mikrogolfoond en tien muureenhede in die kantore van die Gautengse hoofkantoor van die polisie. Hy het aangevoer sy skadevergoeding en regskoste is nie betaal nie.

Brig. Johannes Meyer, hoof van litigasie in die regsafdeling van die Gautengse polisie, het namens die minister in ’n dringende aansoek teen die beslaglegging op die meubels gesê die beslagleggings is nie in belang van die regspleging nie, dat die beslagleggingsbevel “prematuur” is en dat daar verskeie gebreke in die bevel is wat dit “fataal gebrekkig” maak.

Die aansoek sal op 1 Februarie aangehoor word.

Couple get R80 000 each for unlawful arrest

4 November 2010 | ILSE DE LANGE

 JOHANNESBURG - A Special investigator of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and his girlfriend were awarded R160 000 in damages against  police after they were arrested and detained overnight for no apparent reason.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba ordered the Minister of Police to pay R80 000 each to NPA investigator Wilfred Leso and his girlfriend, Thando Mthembu, for their unlawful arrest and detention in December 2008.

The couple initially claimed R110 000 damages each after their harrowing experience at the hands of the police, who arrested them in front of a block of flats in Sunnyside after apparently taking offence when Leso asked why police wanted to search them and told them he worked for the Directorate of Special Operations.

Leso said in court papers he and Mthembu were standing in the street outside a block of flats talking to people when they were ordered to stand still and raise their hands.

When he asked why police wanted to search him and his car and introduced himself, he and his girlfriend were dragged to the police van, insulted and assaulted.

He was also kicked and a policeman sprayed pepper spray into his eyes, continuing to do so even after the police van was being locked.

The couple was detained overnight at the Sunnyside police station on charges of crimen injuria, assault and interfering with police duties, but were released the next day without any charges being brought against them.

Leso said they were never warned of their rights. and he was not allowed to phone his sister to ensure that his three minor children were safe.

Police said  the  arrest and detention was lawful because Leso had assaulted and insulted a constable and his girlfriend had tried to interfere when they arrested Leso.

Leso said the  arrest was an act of retribution because  police had taken offence when he told them who he was.

He said the policemen had detained them to humiliate and degrade them in an act of revenge and abuse of power.


‘Rugby’ dad awarded R35 000

Rademeyer claimed damages for his unlawful arrest and deprivation of freedom, his legal costs, malicious prosecution and the damage to his good name and reputation.

25 November 2010 | ILSE DE LANGE

A Pretoria father, whose night out after a Currie Cup rugby game ended with him being locked up in a police cell with the man who allegedly stole his son’s cellphone, has been awarded R35 000 damages.

In terms of a settlement in the North Gauteng High Court, the Police Minister  agreed to pay the amount to   Thys Rademeyer, 53,  of Arcadia, Pretoria, and to pay for his legal costs.

Rademeyer initially instituted a damages claim of over R360 000 against the police after being arrested outside the Loftus stadium in Pretoria in July 2006 and spending several hours in a cell at the Sunnyside police station with a suspected cellphone thief.

He was released on R1 000 bail the next day and charged with assaulting a policeman and interfering in police duties, but all charges were later withdrawn against him.

Rademeyer claimed damages for his unlawful arrest and deprivation of freedom, his legal costs, malicious prosecution and the damage to his good name and reputation.

In court papers, police admitted that Rademeyer was arrested, but said this was necessary because he had assaulted a police constable.
Rademeyer said he and a group of friends, including his son Thys Jnr, had visited the Sin Bin restaurant after watching the Currie Cup game between Western Province  and the Blue Bulls at Loftus that day.

They were on their way to their cars when his son’s cellphone was stolen. His son and some of his friends gave chase.
Rademeyer  was not aware that the police had, in the meantime, chased the suspected thief and recovered his son’s cellphone.

When his son returned, pointed to a police van and told him “they” had recovered his cellphone, Rademeyer went to talk to the police to find out what was going on when a policeman suddenly jumped out of the van and ran at him.
According to Rademeyer, he pushed the policeman out of the way, causing him to fall, in a reflex reaction because he had not expected anything like that to happen.

However, Constable Lucky Maluleka, said in a statement that Rademeyer  had been aggressive.
He  had grabbed him by his uniform, pushed him and slapped him. He said he had to call for back-up to arrest Rademeyer.


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