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Pretoria - The Minister of Police was ordered by the Pretoria High Court to pay R25 000 in damages to a compliance auditor at the South African Civil Aviation Authority, after he was locked up for eight hours in a police cell for no reason.
Thabo Donald Setati, 37, initially claimed R100 000 in damages following his ordeal when he was locked up for eight hours without food or water.
Setati still has no idea why he was locked up and the police can’t tell him. The taxpayer will meanwhile have to fork out for the police bungling.
He was locked up around noon on February 14, 2010, in a cell at the Tsakane police station in Brakpan and detained until eight that night.
He was then released unconditionally without being charged or being given an explanation.
It is stated in papers before the court that two days before his arrest and detention, heavily armed policemen arrived at his home, where he lives with his mother, in the early hours of the morning.
He was in Port Elizabeth on a work related matter at the time.
As soon as his mother told him about this, he flew back to Johannesburg and tried to establish what was going on. He was told a policeman, one Ndlovu, was looking for him and arranged to meet him at the police station. The policeman never arrived and when he phoned him, he was told to meet him the next day.
He went to church the following day and as he got home three policemen were waiting for him. They took him to the police station where he was bundled into a cell.
He was locked up for eight hours without having a clue as to why. No explanation was given after he was told to go home.
Setati said his liberty was infringed upon and he was humiliated by the actions of the police.