SAPS ordered to pay man R160,000 for unlawful arrest and assault over TV

Published Jun 25, 2024


A man who was unlawfully detained and severely assaulted by police was awarded R160,00 in damages after the North West High Court ruled against the Minister of Police.

Mmadu Ifechukhu, 34, was living in Vryburg when the incident happened on November 17, 2018.

He said at about 8pm, he was about to take his girlfriend home when he was confronted by a group of people whom he identified as members belonging to the Zion Christian Church.

These people asked him about a plasma TV and he told them he knew nothing about it.

Police were called to the scene and four officers arrived, one of the officers handcuffed him and then took him to his room.

He said was assaulted and strangled until he lost consciousness, he was then poured with water and when he woke up, they continued assaulting him until he fainted again.

He said his room was searched and when the officers could not find anything, they left with him in a combi where he endured more beatings and torture.

He was taken Huhudi Police Station where a statement was written on his behalf and he was instructed to sign.

He added that he was then taken to a small holding cell which had no blanket and a mattress.

He testified that he was in pain, especially on his ribs and he received no medical attention.

The next day, he was released and given a court date. When he appeared in court, his charges were dismissed.

Ifechukhu said the ordeal traumatised him and he doesn't feel safe around police.

His lawyer argued that he should be awarded R250,000 in damages.

However, Judge Ronald Hendricks said there was insufficient evidence to support the amount sought and each case must be decided on its own merits and circumstance.

“No evidence was presented about any psychological evaluation been conducted on the plaintiff (Ifechukhu), to determine whether the plaintiff will suffer any lasting psychological effects as a result of this incident.”

Judge Hendricks said he wont lose sight of the fact that Ifechukhu suffered at the hands of police and he will reward him R100,000 for the assault and R60,000 for unlawful arrest and detention.

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