The State withdrew its charges against an accused, represented by AfriForum’s legal team, in one of the criminal cases regarding alleged contravention of the lockdown regulations.
This follows AfriForum’s announcement on 1 June 2020 that it was undertaking two pilot cases in a bid to stop unfair arrests due to current lockdown regulations. In this specific case, a man was arrested after being pulled over by the SAPS. Although the man had the necessary permit on him, he was arrested on ivory-related charges because the police had found a pair of old kudu horns in the car’s boot.
The other case – about the arrest of a man because he didn’t have the receipt for buying his cigarettes – is on the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court’s role for 21 August 2020.
AfriForum undertook to make its legal team available to oppose criminal charges brought against the accused, as well as to help the accused thereafter in bringing civil claims against the law-enforcement authorities as a result of the unlawful arrests.
“We are happy with the accused that the case against him was withdrawn. We will fight until the end to make it clear to law-enforcement authorities that citizens will no longer be used as punching bags for power-drunk law enforcers,” says Marnus Kamfer, Legal and Risk Manager at AfriForum.
The SAPS sent a document on 19 May 2020 to all police stations to inform its members once again when arrests and violence are permitted. The document also unequivocally states that members who do not follow the correct procedures will be held personally liable for any compensation that the SAPS will have to pay as a result of these members’ misbehaviour.
“It would be a first prize if guilty officers have to pay from their own pockets for compensation, and not the tax-payer,” Kamfer concludes.