Man claims wrongful arrest

A Limpopo man who claims he was wrongfully arrested and convicted nine years ago said he does not enjoy his freedom because the arrest has haunted him since he was released on parole in June.

He claimed his image has been tarnished after spending many years at Kutama-Sinthumule maximum prison near Louis Trichardt.

Jacob Khashane Malatji, 34, of Tickeyline village in Maake outside Tzaneen, said he was arrested and charged with two counts of armed robbery and two of attempted murder.

Malatji said he was sentenced to 15 years in jail even though some witnesses denied before court that he was one of three other convicts who committed the crimes.

He said Maake police came to his home saying they were looking for an illegal firearm.

He said although the police did not find the alleged gun, he was locked up and later charged with armed robbery. He was accused of being part of a group of thugs who had robbed a local man, Phineas Kgatla, of his bakkie and other valuables.

Malatji said he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but released on parole on June 12 after serving eight years.

He said he was disturbed because the case had tarnished his image because people in the village consider him a criminal.

"The conviction has also limited my chances of a better future because I can't get a job," he said.