state to pay for arrests

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

The Pretoria Central magistrate's court has ruled in favour of two men who sued the Department of Safety and Security for wrongful arrests and violation of their rights.

Magistrate Fouri Miyambo ruled that Oupa Kanyane of Ramogeletsane village in Siyabuswa, Mpumalanga, and Lucky Leolo of Matlelerekeng in the Moutse area of Limpopo, be compensated for R65000 and R50000 respectively.

The department was also ordered to pay for the legal fees of the two. On September 8 2005, Leolo was arrested by a Vaalbank policeman, Inspector Blatch Mabena, who claimed he had received a tip-off that Leolo had stolen a car.

The car, a 1400 Nissan bakkie, had earlier been reported to the police as stolen. Leolo, who owns a tavern in his village, said he was surprised as he was about to close when police arrived and told him that he was under arrest for stealing the bakkie.

He was detained for four days at the Vaalbank magistrate's court without being charged or appearing in court.

It was only when the investigating officer, Inspector Jan Mahope, was notified about Leolo's arrest that he said there was no proof that Leolo had stolen the car. Leolo was released.

Leolo filed a lawsuit against Charles Nqakula's men, initially seeking R100000 for wrongful arrest.

Meanwhile, Kanyane was granted R65000 in compensation after two men in blue came to his Siyabuswa house, fired warning shots and accused him of being a fraudster before allegedly stealing an undisclosed amount of money from him.

He spent the night in the KwaMhlanga police cells, and was taken to Pretoria Central prison the following day. His case was later thrown out of court.