Connect with us


Police Minister Ordered to Pay R3.3 Million in Damages Over Malicious Detention



police minister to pay over R3 million

The Pietermaritzburg High Court has ordered the police minister to pay over R3 million in damages to Mdunyiswa Mtolo, who was wrongfully detained for two years and eight months due to “malice.” According to SowetanLIVE, the court had ruled in 2021 that Mtolo’s arrest in 2011, subsequent detention, and prosecution were driven by the police, acting under the minister’s authority, with malicious intent.

After the initial ruling, the matter was deferred to determine the amount of damages that Mtolo would receive. The recent hearing concluded, and the court announced its decision on Wednesday.

The damages awarded to Mtolo include R3 million for insult to dignity and deprivation of freedom arising from malicious arrest and detention, R300,000 for impairment of dignity, good name, and reputation due to malicious prosecution, and R67,200 for loss of earnings.

Also read: SCOPA Revisits RAF’s Joburg and Centurion Offices After June Visit

However, this compensation amount is a fraction of the substantial sums the police pay annually to settle claims against them. According to the police’s 2021/2022 annual report, they disbursed R470 million in 4,598 payments, including court orders and settlements, with arrest and detention claims accounting for the largest portion, totalling R346.2 million.


Mtolo’s ordeal began with his arrest in September 2011 on charges of housebreaking with intent to steal, theft of saddles, and a separate count of motor vehicle theft. Despite the charges, police detained him from the day of his arrest until the withdrawal of both charges in June 2013 and June 2014, respectively.

Judge Robin Mossop highlighted the unjust circumstances surrounding Mtolo’s detention, including the lack of evidence linking him to the crimes. Mtolo endured 37 court appearances during his detention, and the conditions of his confinement were distressing. He described unsanitary cells and even instances of physical assault by fellow detainees and police officers.

Mossop stressed the troubling nature of the case, including the prolonged detention, the humiliation Mtolo faced, and the malice exhibited by the police. The judge noted that when those entrusted with safeguarding society instead exploited it, the fabric of society itself was at risk.

Also read:

Marikana Victims Receive Over R330 Million in Government Compensation


Picture: X / daddyhope

Follow us on Google News.

Continue Reading