Johannesburg - Two employees of Dave Sheer Guns are suing a State prosecutor, the ministers of defence and police, and the national police commissioner for their alleged wrongful arrest.
This emerged last week when Gareth de Nysschen and Efthimios Demis Karamitsos, a director and manager at Dave Sheer Guns respectively, appeared in court with soldiers Teboho Peter Motaung and Diphang John Motloung, and Motloung’s son, Thabang.
They are facing charges relating to the alleged theft of more than 200 000 rounds of military ammunition from 21 Infantry Battalion in Lenasia. According to a State witness statement, the ammunition was allegedly sold to Dave Sheer Guns.
The matter was due to sit for trial, but was delayed after Motloung and his son indicated they needed to apply for legal aid.
However, it emerged that De Nysschen and Karamitsos’s former attorney, Martin Hood, was acting on the accused’s behalf to sue the prosecutor in the case, Mienke Erasmus, and the ministers of defence and police, and the national police commissioner.
A letter of demand was sent to the minister of police in November, indicating that De Nysschen and Karamitsos would be instigating legal proceedings against the State.
The letter states that De Nysschen was detained last year for 11 days after his arrest, “whereafter the senior prosecutor Ms M Erasmus withdrew the warrants of arrest in court and advised the presiding magistrate… that the warrant of arrests have been irregularly issued”.
The letter states that De Nysschen suffered damages to the sum of R1.1 million during his detention. Karamitsos was released on bail after four days and the letter says he suffered damages of R400 000.
Last month, a summons was served in the Johannesburg High Court against the two ministers, the national police commissioner and Erasmus.
In the particulars of the claim, it says the accused were arrested at OR Tambo International Airport last July “pursuant to a warrant of arrest issued in an unlawful and fraudulent manner”.
The claim also says the defendants called upon the media to witness and report on the arrests, which caused them “extreme embarrassment” and which the summons says was defamatory.
The summons said the charges stated on the warrants did not exist and they allege they were not signed by an authorised person.
“The plaintiff was severely traumatised as a result of his incarceration, which was highly publicised in the media, in which his character and personality were portrayed in an extremely negative light,” the court papers said.
Hood said the summons in no way involved the current criminal matter before court.