Reports have it that a 24-year-old KwaMashu man has filed over R6 million lawsuit in damages for wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution and unlawful detention against Police Minister – Nathi Nhleko, the National Director of Public Prosecution and Justice, and Constitutional Development Minister Michael Masutha.
The man, identified as Mfihlakalo Buthelezi reportedly spent more than two years in prison after he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in August 30, 2011. He was arrested and charged with rape in March 16, 2010.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that Buthelezi, after his arrest, was transported to police station. There, he was processed but was told that he’ll “find out in court what he’s being charged for”.
When he appeared before the court, his case was postponed. As such, he applied for bail. But then again, the bail application was postponed many times. Buthelezi was thus detained at the Magudwini Police Station for 83 days before being released on bail on June 8, 2010.
Subsequently, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2014 however, he won his appeal against the sentence and conviction and was released. But he’s already lived in prison for almost three years.
With that, Buthelezi filed his lawsuit at the Pietermaritzburg High Court this week. According to him, the rape charge on him wasn’t genuine.
The police, he said, “acted solely on the word of the complainant without any supporting factors to sustain the allegations. Having a suspicion is not reasonable grounds to arrest someone,” Buthelezi added. Hence, he’s asking for R650 000 in damages for his wrongful arrest.
Also, he’s claiming R1 million in damages for malicious prosecution. He related that: “notwithstanding the absence of any medical examinations being performed on the complainant or myself, which amounts to the absence of any evidence indicating a sexual assault took place, the NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecution) pursued a case against me on the charge of rape.”
More so, Buthelezi highlighted that the presiding magistrate convicted him without scrutinizing the obvious inconsistencies in the evidence the state witness presented.
He narrated that he suffered constant anxiety, depression, was subjected to intimidation, and tortured by other prisoners who sexually assaulted and abuse him. Therefore, Buthelezi is demanding for R5 million for his wrongful conviction.