Man gets payout for wrongful arrest

2012-02-16 09:00

Pretoria - The North Gauteng High Court has ordered the police minister to pay R171 000 to an innocent Standerton technician who spent Christmas 2009 in jail, Beeld newspaper reported on Thursday.

Richard Lephoto was arrested in December 2009, after he reported his girlfriend Jane Tsotetsi missing.

Her body was subsequently found in a donga, and police suspected Lephoto of the murder. He was locked up in the Sakhile police cells in Standerton from December 22 to 29, 2009.

During this time Lephoto's infant daughter died, and the police refused him permission to attend the child's funeral.

The murder charge was later withdrawn, as no evidence could be found linking him with the crime.

During the hearing on Tuesday, the court also ordered the police minister to pay Lephoto's legal costs.

  • Andre - 2012-02-16 09:11

    There are too many cases of police brutality which is clearly an indication of both poor selection, training and leadership in the SAPF.

      Tshifhiwa - 2012-02-16 09:20

      R171K is too little.

      Janice - 2012-02-16 09:46

      Too little TOO late!!!

      Rainbow - 2012-02-16 09:57

      It says insuficiant evidence people, does not mean that he is not guilty. He could well have murdered her and now is getting a payout for his effort because the police have botched up the case and thus thee is not ENOUGH evidence. Nice message to send out to criminals.

      kmangi - 2012-02-16 10:06

      @Rainbow nation...from yr statement i can c that u have never been arrested wrongly n treated lik a common criminal...n had to go to court over n over again without even been charged...dont b so naive

      Willie - 2012-02-16 10:31

      Well done on the ruling!!! However the R 171K is coming from taxpayers coffers! Get the guilty cops, their superiors and the minister of police and deduct the money from their salaries.

  • procold2 - 2012-02-16 09:12

    shame, but it will years before he sees a cent

      njfada - 2012-02-16 09:50

      He'll propable be dead by the time they eventually pay out.

      Bibi - 2012-02-16 13:04

      They will first appeal.

  • Sunett - 2012-02-16 09:26

    There have been way too many articles lately highlighting the incompetence of the police force. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: we are so screwed.

      MoAfrika - 2012-02-16 10:03

      u never know, 1 of this days you will be arrested for driving on the same lane with police...

  • Marion - 2012-02-16 09:34

    No amount of money can compensate this man for the fact that he couldn't say his last farewell to his baby.

      Charles - 2012-02-16 09:39

      Eish Marion I fully agree with you. Thats so traumatic. This guy will live with that fact forever

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-16 09:55

      Baby dies on Christmas and he's banned from even attending? That's some sort of emotional / psychological torture.

  • Joe - 2012-02-16 09:43

    No wonder people go postal - I would! No excuse whatsoever for the police's lack of professionalism. I thought that we did away with the death penalty due to human rights abuses. Maybe it's time we got rid of the current police force, as there are clearly too many human rights abuses by this clearly incompetent sector. Fear the country where innocent law-abiding citizens have to fear the police force. Until we have a clean, effective and efficient police force, I'm all for vigilantism.

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-16 09:56

      Until we have a clean, effective and efficient government, the police will remain lacking.

  • Duncan Thabiso Mphailane - 2012-02-16 09:43

    I thought the police are supposed to investigate, gather evidence, arrest and charge. This shows the importance of retraining.

      Bomb - 2012-02-16 10:22

      This shows the importance of appointing competent people from the top down to the ground.

      Duncan Thabiso Mphailane - 2012-02-16 11:37

      @Bomb I'm the kind of person who criticizes constructively.. You should try that some time. When you say "competent people", who are you talking about? What I know for sure is that adequate training+retraining=competence.

      Marcell - 2012-02-16 12:53

      Sometimes people are not trainable. Get competant people to do the job(black/white/chinese/greek). As long as they WANT to do the job and not only see it as a pay cheque at the end of the month.

      Bomb - 2012-02-16 15:01

      @Duncan..Dont try to fool yourself. You are contradicting yourself. In the first place they are not adequately trained, it doesn't take a scientist to see that. Why? Because their trainers are incompetent. Why? Because their management is incompetent. Why? Because their masters are incompetent. You should think that people who are responsible for other people's lives, and who are supposed to safeguard the population should not be allowed on the street before being adequately trained. They are not looking after vegetables in a garden, but human beings. So you want my constructive criticism, fire each and every single policeman who is not in possession of the adequate qualifications to be in the post he is in in the first place. Why? Because standards and minimum requirements have been dropped in order to allow each and every mongrel from the street to join the police force. How does members with criminal records get admitted to the SAPS?? So, there is my constructive criticism.

  • janet.mcdonaldbelstead - 2012-02-16 09:43

    I was wrongfully arrested and spent the weekend in jail. My husband left me and I lost my business. Months' later after court cases, etc it came out that someone had lied to the police and they had arrested me on an assumption - not facts! Do I get compensation? No! How many people have been in similar situations and ended up with less than what they started!?

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-16 09:58

      I can't be bothered to look up the rest of this story. Why was there a hearing on Tuesday? Is he suing for damages and/or trauma? Perhaps you should do the same...

      Bomb - 2012-02-16 10:24

      Janet,........your husband was a "box".

      Deon - 2012-02-16 10:26

      You have a case to sue them, go for it.

      janet.mcdonaldbelstead - 2012-02-16 11:13

      In reply to Heiku - things didn't just fall apart over a period of 2 days - it was due to the events surrounding the issue and the "reputation" I ended up with thanks to the lies that made things go south. Count your blessings that you never end up in that situation - other peoples' lies and defamation can wipe your entire career off the face of the earth! Ultimately the truth came out, but the damage had already been done!

  • the_gob - 2012-02-16 09:45

    Keep up the good work SAPS, what a joke of a police service. Too busy getting sick days and sitting on their backsides.

      Jeffrey - 2012-02-16 09:57

      Gob, it's SAPF now; no service implied or delivered.

      the_gob - 2012-02-16 11:31

      @Jeff shot for the correction

  • Rebaone - 2012-02-16 10:00

    Do we realy have the police force or we have incompetent people pretending to be the SAPS? Where does the SAPS gets these people from because it is clear that they don't belong there? Maybe its because the whole SAPS is incompetent.

      Bomb - 2012-02-16 10:29

      We have clowns running around in a blue uniform, pretending to be police. SA doesn't have a functional, effective, TRUSTWORTHY, UNBIASED police force. We have a circus of clowns headed by incompetent, corrupt leaders. The names "Cele" and "Selebi" are a true reflection of what the police stands for.

  • nkosiab - 2012-02-16 10:03

    ja nne, what comes around go around - it is important to have fact before acting nne

  • Ig - 2012-02-16 10:20

    Not enough, if it was me I will terrorisethe bastards

  • Andre - 2012-02-16 10:21

    Police must also be charged for kidnapping - police involved must also be held criminally acountable.

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-16 10:28

    imagine if the death penalty was a law in this country....

      Bomb - 2012-02-16 15:06

      Mmmmm.............If they were using the electric chair, Pretoria Central would have the biggest electricity bill in the country.

  • Theresa - 2012-02-16 10:28

    Die storie verbaas my GLAD NIE!!

  • bradley.marais1 - 2012-02-16 10:33

    @rainbownation...ever heard of the presumption of innocence? That in crimina proceedings the state bares the onus to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt? that this must be done my adducing evidence? Factual guilt, is NOT legal Guilt

  • Hendrik - 2012-02-16 10:49

    And so where is the murderer then?

  • Yolanda - 2012-02-16 11:17

    What happened to being innocent until proven guilty??? This money cannot buy back the time lost and the heartache of being refused to bury your own child.

  • shayastaj - 2012-02-16 11:52


      Bomb - 2012-02-16 15:07

      Thanks to incompetence.

  • annelize.jerling - 2012-02-16 16:10

    on what grounds did they arrest him?? they should have paid him ten times that!

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