Elderly woman wins case against cops

2013-04-25 11:11
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - Taxpayers will have to cough up more than R60 000 after a court ruled that police officers in Makhado (Louis Trichardt) unnecessarily roughed up an elderly woman who was wrongfully arrested.

The elderly woman, identified as 73-year-old JLM Combrink was arrested by police officers in 2008 on her farm after being accused of owning stolen property, reported the Pretoria News.

She owned a scrap metal business at the time. Even though she told the officers that she had proof of her purchases, they ignored her, took her to the police station, arrested her and locked her up in a police cell with other detainees.

As she had no access to her blood pressure medication, she became weak and had to be helped to stand by her cellmates.

She was released hours later after her lawyer paid bail for her but was apparently in so much pain that she could barely walk upon her release.

When she later appeared in court, her lawyer produced the proof of purchases and the case was withdrawn.

Judge Ephraim Makgoka said in his ruling that while Combrink was an honest witness, he couldn’t say the same about the two arresting police officers - Senior Superintendents NJ Sivhula and Edward Ramuthuthu.

“They did not impress me as witnesses. Both were too talkative, long-winded and could not answer questions properly. They appeared to be tough, uncompromising and regrettably arrogant police officers who were in a hurry to do their work and not prepared to wait for an explanation from the plaintiff.”

The judge said had the officers bothered to look at the control register none of this would have happened.

“She was treated with the uttermost disrespect. To add salt to her wounds she was arrested three months after the death of her son and only three weeks after the death of her husband,” the judge said.
Read more on:    police  |  polokwane  |  police brutality

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