Cop wins settlement for ‘arbitrary detention’

Image courtesy

Image courtesy

The North Gauteng High Court has ordered Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to pay R275 000 damages to a police lieutenant who spent ten days in custody after being falsely accused of armed robbery.

Acting Judge Nelisa Mali ordered the Minister to pay the amount to Lt Joshua Raboshaba for his humiliating ordeal after being arrested in front of his colleagues at the Boschkop Police station in April 2010.

Raboshaba, a policeman with 30 years’ experience, was released on bail ten days after his arrest. The case against him was withdrawn nine months later when the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to prosecute.

Raboshaba was forced to undress and dress in open view outside his home after his arrest and paraded in handcuffs in front of his wife and children. A photo of him being led to a police van in handcuffs was published in various newspapers.

Raboshaba described the indignity of his detention and court appearances when he had to face his colleagues as the worst experience of his life.

Judge Mali said no explanation had been given why an identity parade was not held, nor why the other four victims of the armed robbery had not been questioned about Raboshaba’s identity.

The decision to arrest him had been arbitrary and irrational, the judge said.


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