North West Court Orders Bheki Cele to Pay R1.5 Million in Damages for Unlawful Arrest

North West Court Orders Bheki Cele to Pay R1.5 Million in Damages for Unlawful Arrest

  • Police Minister Bheki Cele has been hit with a R1.5 million bill after the North West High Court ruled in a complainant's favour
  • The man sued the South African Police Service for unlawful arrest after they detained him for 202 days without evidence
  • The court ruled that his detention was unlawful, and the country was livid that the money would come from taxpayers

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.

The North West High Court ordered Bheki Cele to pay a man wrongfully arrested R1.5 million in damages.
Bheki Cele has been slapped with a R1.5 million bill. Images: Theo Jeptha/Die Burger/ Gallo Images via Getty Images and Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

NORTHWEST – The North West High Court ordered police minister Bheki Cele to pay a wrongfully arrested man R1.5 million. The ruling left South Africans reeling as many believed it would come from the taxpayers' coffers.

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Man wrongfully arrested for over 6 months

IOL reported that Jongile Dan July was arrested nine years ago in 2015 after the South African Police Services accused him of robbery. When he appeared, he was denied bail and kept behind bars for 202 days. He was in an overcrowded and dirty cell in conditions he described as inhumane.

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He was released the following year, and charges against him were dropped. But he did not let it go. He recounted that his life was a living hell in prison as he ate terrible food. His girlfriend lost the baby she was pregnant with and died from hypertension three months after his release.

His uncle also died, and he endured being called a murderer by his community. He initially claimed R6.3 million in damages, and after a clinical assessment, he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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Netizens furious at SAPS and Cele

South Africans on Facebook voiced their frustrations.

Matsarane Mmina Tau said:

"Up until such a time that SAPS are held personally liable for such lawsuits, we as tax-paying citizens will keep compensating for their incompetence."

David Amato said:

"Bheki will not be paying a cent. Taxpayers will pay it."

Nicholas Bowen said:

"His incompetence cost the SA taxpayers R1.5 million."

Erik Westra said:

"Another R1.5 million from the hardworking taxpayers' money thrown out the window."

Brwdley Froud said:

"The taxpayers will have to pay for his department's incompetence."

Gauteng teenager arrested for allegedly resembling foreign national

In a similar article, Briefly News reported that a 15-year-old from Johannesburg was arrested in February.

Her father alleges that the police stopped her while she walked home from the store. They asked for her ID, and when she said it was at home, they detained her.

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The police released her after her father came to the police station with her birth certificate.

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Source: Briefly News

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