15-Year-Old Johannesburg Teenager Arrested for Allegedly Resembling Foreign National

15-Year-Old Johannesburg Teenager Arrested for Allegedly Resembling Foreign National

  • A teenager in Johannesburg was allegedly arrested after she was mistaken for a foreign national
  • The teenager was stopped and asked to produce her ID, and when she failed to do so, she was thrown into a van and taken to the police station
  • Tumelo Mogale from Lawyers for Human Rights told Briefly News that if the detention was unlawful it could be a problem
  • South Africans were furious and advised the parents of the child to sue the South African Police Service

Tebogo Mokwena, a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Johannesburg, South Africa, covered police investigations and court cases at Daily Sun for over three years. Do you have a hard news story you would like to share? Email tebogo.mokwena@briefly.co.za with CA in the subject line.

A 15 year-old teenager from Johannesburg was falsely arrested after she was mistaken for an illegal foreign national
A teenager's harrowing experience at the hands of the SAPS, who wrongfully arrested her, infuriated South Africans. Images: xijian and Ivan Pantic
Source: Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG – A 15-year-old teenager from Hillbrow in Johannesburg was subjected to a horrible ordeal after she was arrested for being falsely accused of being an illegal immigrant. It wasn't until her father returned with proof that she was South African she was released.

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Johannesburg teenager falsely arrested

According to SowetanLIVE, the teenager explained that she was on her way to the shops in Hillbrow when female officers allegedly cornered her. They searched her without any explanation and they demanded her identity documents. She told them that she had a South African birth certificate.

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However, they grabbed her and threw her into the back of a police van with a number of other people. They were then driven to the Hillbow Police Station and she was wrongfully arrested.

She alleged that one of the officers shouted that South Africa was not their home. She tried telling them she was a South African citizen, but that did not help. She contacted her father after using one of the detainees' cell phones.

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The father allegedly arrived at the police station and demanded to know why his daughter had been arrested. He demanded that someone face the music for what his daughter experienced.

Lawyers for Human Rights weighs in with Briefly News

Tumelo Mogale from Lawyers for Human Rights told Briefly News what it meant if the arrest was unlawful.

"If the Police do not follow the procedure outlined in the Child Justice Act, this will violate those rights enshrined in the Act. Arrest and detention should always be used as a last resort when dealing with minors, and in this instance, it would seem like the arresting of a minor was a first option, which is a concern. The South African Human Rights Commission can also investigate," Mogale said.

Netizens furious over girl's arrest

South Africans on Facebook were furious at the SAPS officers' conduct.

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Naty Xaba said:

"They must sue the state for unlawful detention."

Sizwe Bokwana remarked:

"That father must sue those useless police officers."

Raxmohale Mokgwathi asked:

"What does a foreigner look like? This is an insult."

Manzini Smangaliso Freeman shared:

"This happened to me several times, especially here in Joburg while foreigners roam the street."

Nomsa Mabaso was angry:

"Useless police."

Bheki Cele forced to pay man R500K for wrongful arrest

In a similar article, Briefly News reported that Police Minister Bheki Cele was ordered to pay a man from Gauteng R500,000 after wrongfully arresting him.

The man was allegedly arrested and accused of being involved in an armed robbery. He was then kept in custody for 26 days before he was given bail of R2 000.

The police withdrew their case and the man took them to court, where the courts ruled in favour of him.

Source: Briefly News

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