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Johannesburg - The police ministry on Thursday will appeal a Cape Town High Court decision of malicious prosecution brought against it by former murder accused Fred van der Vyver.
The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will hear arguments on whether requirements had been proved and whether the police minister could be held liable for the damage caused to Van der Vyver.
In August 2011, the Cape Town High Court ruled in favour of Van der Vyver, who sued the minister for R46-million in damages after he was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Inge Lotz, in 2005.
Lotz's body was found on a bench in the lounge of her Stellenbosch apartment in March 2005. She had serious head injuries, inflicted with a blunt object, and stab wounds to her chest.
Van der Vyver was arrested for the murder three months later, and released on R10 000 bail.
Numerous requests from Van der Vyver's defence team for the prosecution to be abandoned were rejected.
Van der Vyver was found not guilty by Judge Deon van Zyl and two assessors after a trial that lasted nine months.
Judge Anton Veldhuizen, who presided in the R46-million damages action, said the decision to prosecute Van der Vyver was based on the opinion of an expert involved in the investigation, and that this was “not worth the paper that it was written on”.
Without this opinion, the prosecuting authorities would have realised there was no valid case against Van der Vyver, and would not have proceeded with the case.
He was satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the prosecution should never have taken place, and that the police ministry was liable for the damage caused to Van der Vyver. - Sapa