Man files R1 million damages claim after wrongful arrest for rape

2016-03-02 11:17

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Pietermaritzburg - A man who alleges he spent 62 days in jail after he was falsely accused by a Kokstad policewoman of raping her, has filed a damages claim for R1 million against the state.

The claim has been lodged by Sheldon Jaftha of Shayamoya, Kokstad, against the minister of Police, Kokstad policewoman Patheka Zoleka and her colleague, Siseko Chayi.

Chayi allegedly arrested Jaftha on Zoleka’s say-so at the Kokstad charge office on July 25, 2010.

The case recently came before high court judges when Jaftha asked the court to condone the late filing of his claim. He said this happened for a number of reasons.

One of them was that he was unaware he could lodge a civil claim against the police as he was only educated up to Grade 7 and did not understand court procedure or his rights.

Yesterday, the acting deputy judge president of KZN, Judge Jerome Mnguni, adjourned the case indefinitely pending further filing of documents.

In his papers, Jaftha said he is 23 years old. On the day of his arrest he was “cold and tired” and had nowhere to sleep.

“There was no public transport available to my home at Shayamoya. It was too far and the weather was too cold to walk. I decided to go to the police station to seek shelter,” he said.

Jaftha said while seated on the bench in the charge office, Zoleka walked up to him and said to other officers that he was the person who raped her. “I was horrified at the allegation,” he said.

He said he had never met Zoleka and was not given any details of the alleged rape. He was immediately arrested and detained by Zoleka and Chayi. He was kept in custody for 62 days until the charge against him was withdrawn by the state.

He was later informed that an independent investigation was held and that it was discovered that Zoleka had lied about the alleged rape. He (Jaftha) was even called to testify when Zoleka was criminally charged, and was found guilty of perjury.

His damages claim is based on the fact that he was arrested without a warrant of arrest; and that police failed to ensure that there was reasonable and proper cause for him to be arrested; and to investigate the allegations that resulted in his arrest.

According to the court papers, Jaftha suffered “grave distress” and inconvenience, was deprived of his freedom, was severely humiliated and his dignity, good name and standing in the community suffered as a result of his arrest.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  arrest  |  rape  |  court

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