'Give me my money so i can get on with life'

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Shane Mhaule, 18, was detained and almost deported to Mozambique because police thought he was "too dark" to be South African.

That was in 2004, when he was only 14. But he sought legal action and the Pretoria high court awarded him R90000.

But he has still not got the money - because his family's lawyer is still waiting to cost the court representation.

"I don't know what is going on because whenever I phone the relevant people they keep on making promises that are not being fulfilled," his mother, Kate Mhaule, said.

"I think it is already too long since the high court ruling in February," she said yesterday.

Mpumalanga-born Mhaule sued for wrongful arrest after he was held and detained overnight with adult men in the Belfast police station in 2004 and nearly kicked out of South Africa, his land of birth.

The youngster was on his way back to school in Gauteng when the police stopped the bus he was travelling in along the N4 highway near Belfast to conduct a routine search for illegal immigrants.

"The policeman said I was as black as three nights put together before throwing me into a cell with adult men, some of whom whispered a lot of sweet nothings in my ear during the night. I was too terrified," Shane said.

As if that wasn't enough, his mother had to help him through the court case and now she wants the money so Shane can further his education and she can build them a house in Dwaarsloop.

Frans Bezuidenhout, of Frans Schutte Attorneys in White River, who represented the Mhaules, confirmed they had got the cash.

"We received the capital on April 30 and we are still waiting for costing to be finalised before the clients can receive what is due to them."