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Unlawful arrests: Guilty officials must be brought to book

AfriForum has appointed a legal team to assist two victims of suspected unlawful arrests – that took place during the nationwide lockdown – in their respective cases.

During the first incident, a man with a valid permit was pulled off by the SAPS and arrested on the basis of ivory-related offences seeing as he had an old pair of kudu horns in his vehicle’s boot.

During another incident, a person was arrested because he had cigarettes in his possession for which he couldn’t show a proof of purchase.

“A large number of law enforcement authority members showcased their lack of knowledge regarding the current regulations on various occasions during the nationwide lockdown. In a lot of cases the police members are merely malicious and spiteful. We have decided to tackle these two cases with the aim to, among others, bring SAPS members and other law enforcement officials to book for the unlawful manner in which they handle citizens,” says Marnus Kamfer, AfriForum’s Legal and Risk Manager for Community Safety.

The SAPS on 19 May 2020 issued a document to police stations to once again inform its members when arrests and violence can be enforced. The document also specifically states that members who are not following the correct procedures will be held personally accountable for any compensation that the SAPS must pay up for these members’ misconduct.

“We hope to create a precedent that will let law enforcement officials think twice before bullying citizens and enforcing the abuse of power,” concludes Kamfer.

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