Johannesburg - A tale of three brothers, who were falsely accused by their stepmother of stealing money from her, unfolded in the North Gauteng High Court, resulting in the police being ordered to pay two of them R80 000 each in damages.

Kgaugelo Tjatji, now 22, and his younger brother, Tshepo, now 20, instituted a damages claim against the police following their ordeal four years ago when they were assaulted by the police in eMalahleni, and had to endure a harrowing few hours in police cells at the hands of fellow inmates and the police.

The two, who were 18 and 16 at the time, described how they still had nightmares about their little brother, who was 10 at the time, shouting and crying over and over while in a cell that he knew nothing about the stolen R2 500 as claimed by their stepmother.

Kgaugelo said they were terrified of being raped in the overcrowded cell and had to endure humiliating and terrifying moments at the hands of their fellow inmates, and the police did nothing to protect them.

Kgaugelo said soon after being accused of stealing the money, a police officer identified in court papers only as Detective Ratau, came to their home.

He gave them the choice to “either kill themselves by jumping off a bridge or walking on the freeway, move out of their stepmother’s home or to tell the truth”.

The police did not defend the allegations against them and Judge Selby Baqwa ruled that the police minister pay the damages.

Pretoria News