Police to cough up for 'torture'

2010-11-22 22:34

Pretoria - The minister of police has agreed to pay R500 000 to a Hammanskraal farmer who was allegedly tortured while kept in custody for 16 days.

A settlement, in terms of which the minister agreed to pay farmer Willie Nel the money and his legal costs was made an order in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

Nel claimed in court papers that he was unlawfully arrested at his smallholding near Hammanskraal without any probable cause in December 2002.

He said he was kept in custody at various police stations and a house in Laudium and severely tortured by members of a special task unit.

Nel and his wife Esther were arrested and accused of being members of the Boeremag after a corpse was discovered on his farm.

His friend, Advocate Marius Bouwer, who was at that stage the operational commander of the police's anti-corruption unit, was in 2003 arrested in connection with the murder on the strength of a statement made by Nel.

Nel later testified that he was tortured and forced to sign a statement that was already drawn up.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in 2008 awarded Bouwer R205 000 damages for his wrongful arrest and three-day detention.

Bouwer alleged his arrest was part of a campaign to drive white members out of the police force.


Nel claimed in court papers that police cuffed him to a chair and kicked him on his kidneys, back and body with such force that he urinated blood and still experienced problems when he urinated.

He alleged one of the policemen who arrested him, Sergeant Tommy Pooko, threatened to shoot him and told him he had not yet seen how he assaulted a boer, causing him to fear for his life.

Nel alleged he was falsely accused of being a member or taking part in the activities of the Boeremag, was falsely charged with armed robbery and assault and was refused permission to contact anyone while in custody.

He claimed police also tortured him by administering electrical shocks to his private parts and suffocated him with a piece of rubber tubing and that he was then forced to sleep on a bare cement floor while in severe pain.

Nel was arrested on various occasions in connection with a range of charges, but these were either withdrawn against him or he was acquitted.

A damages claim by Nel's wife was earlier settled when the minister of police agreed to pay her R140 000.

A psychologist, Kobus Truter, said in a report the couple both suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and Nel developed severe anxiety disorder after his ordeal.

He said the couple was still confused about the 19 cases originally opened against Nel, but later withdrawn.

Nel was extremely bitter and uncertain about his future as he felt he was being victimised by the police, the psychologist said.

  • Willie - 2010-11-23 04:18

    Well at least they got compensated, the hunderds of farmers killed on farms while police do very little or most often nothing at all is still dead and no amount of compensation can recover what was lost here. The ethnic cleansing continues with the police and government looking away, I still have my doubts that this is not government sanctioned murder. If they deliberately move slow in solving the crimes, if the condone hate speach, allow songs like "KILL THE FARMER KILL THE BOER" at ANC rallys, Enrich themselfs at the detriment of the poor, How can I think any thing else? Fortunately the world is slowly becoming aware of what is going on thanks to people speaking up outside the country against this grave injustice being orcatstrated against the people of South Africa.

      Xram62 - 2010-11-23 06:40

      Not only does the Government do nothing about these murders, they tax the estates of those deceased farmers, the collect 14% VAT on all related expenses if there's medical treatment, or on the funeral...and then, when the widow eventually sells the farm because she can't manage without her husband....the government collects again in terms of transfer costs. If this government was serious about crime they would've lead by example and forgo all "income" as a direct result thereof, i.e. ZERO% VAT on all crime related expenses, whether preventative or repairing the damages, all expenses to "buy" security from private service providers after they failed to provide it, tax decuctable.....and if a person is murdered his entire estate should be excempt of all form of taxes, and his family and loved ones should never pay another cent in taxes to this dysfunctional government. Only then will I believe the government when they tell us how serious they are about erradicating crime. For now they're making more money from it than from any other source available to them.

      dogmaP - 2010-11-23 12:04

      Throughout history someone has always made a large profit from making others suffer, farmer worker have tirreble conditions under which to live, and now the heartless are feeling a little bit of suffering, that's good, let the farmers also experience a little bit of injustice, maybe that will transform thier heart, and make them nicer people. Now the gorvenment is unjust because they taxing greedy people?

      juansaay - 2010-11-23 17:50

      so DogmaP, am i correct in saying that you think its ok for our police to torture people,as long as they are farmers, becasue they themselves treat people badly? and how do you know that Willie Nel treats his staff badly and makes them suffer under terrible conditions .... have you been to his farm? have you maybe worked for him? No person has any right to torture anybody ITS AGAINST A PERSONS BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS, rights that were put inplace by our government and are supposed to be upheld by our police officers ... would you feel the same if it was a black farmer that was torured? ... you do know not all farmers are white right?

  • sue - 2010-11-23 07:01

    Appaulling and it's still going on. So us tax payers are now paying for their crimes. Just don't understand why it's still being allowed. What a corrupt society we live in....shameful and disgusting.

      dogmaP - 2010-11-23 12:08

      society has always been corrupt, we just have different people being corrupt now. Shame and disgust is nothing new to this country, and corruption is most certainly not something that started with the ANC, they found corruption already in power, they are just doing things the way they have always been done. nothing new!

  • Picasso - 2010-11-23 07:12

    It should've been R5 million.

  • David van Niekerk - 2010-11-23 08:01

    this shouldnt have been money every singlel one of those cops should have been arrested and put away for life and charged with racism! oh wait it can only be racism if it was vice versa .. my bad.

  • Dr Filemon - 2010-11-23 08:06


  • Judge Dredd - 2010-11-23 08:16

    This is just one more nail in the coffin of the so-called "new" democracy". What is "new" about torture? This kind of conduct by the "new" police force is actually strengthening the case for Afrikaner self-determination and outonomy. We are clearly persona non grata in the NSA. We accept that and therefore demand our own self-government in our own homeland.

  • jaycee - 2010-11-23 11:13

    Can you imagine the reaction of the ANC and the wankers in the ANCYL if it were white policemen torturing a black guy like this!!!

      Worldwise - 2010-11-23 11:38

      Not a peep from the government or ANCYL. Watch MalcolmX make a ludicrous statement soon though. Where are all the ANC apologists on these forums now?

  • Carl Muller - 2010-11-24 07:25

    I feel sorry for Nel. He is lucky, Steve Biko died, and so did many others.

  • JHLR006 - 2011-07-20 21:56

    I was harassed by 2 Ekurhuleni constables, hit my car with his first when I refused to give them my license and insisted we drive to the nearest police station. I say bring back the people who worked in the force out of passion for protecting the people, not these ignorant uneducated power seeking asses

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