AfriForum recently defended two accused successfully in criminal courts in two pilot cases that the civil rights organisation took on during the lockdown. AfriForum decided to support these people – who were arrested unlawfully – so that justice can prevail.
In the first case, a man was arrested by the SAPS after he was pulled over. Although he had the necessary permit with him, he was arrested on ivory-related charges after the officers found a pair of old kudu horns in the trunk of his car.
In the second case, a man was arrested because he had cigarettes in his possession.
Both men were arrested because they had allegedly violated lockdown regulations. AfriForum instructed its legal team to support the men in the criminal court. Both were acquitted, the second in a case that was heard earlier today.
“This is a major victory for the citizens of South Africa over the unfair behaviour of members of the law enforcement authorities, who hide behind alleged violations of the lockdown regulations,” says Marnus Kamfer, Legal and Risk Manager at AfriForum.
AfriForum will now help the men in laying civil claims against the authorities, and more specifically against the respective members who made themselves guilty of these power abuses.
“The SAPS warned its members during the lockdown to use great care when they execute arrests during the lockdown. Members were also warned that they would be held personally responsible for any costs that the SAPS will have to incur as a result of claims that are instituted successfully against the SAPS by aggrieved citizens. We would like to see that the respective members pay the price, instead of the taxpayer having the worst of it because of members’ unlawful behaviour,” Kamfer concludes.