- Mar 26, 2010
More at:The minister of police must pay R300,000 to a man wrongfully arrested and who spent a week in detention before being released in 2012.
The majority judgment was handed down by the constitutional court on Thursday.
Bryan James de Klerk was unlawfully detained by police for two hours before appearing in court, and a magistrate ordered that he be remanded in custody. De Klerk was released seven days later when charges against him were dropped.
De Klerk sought to hold the police liable for his detention, before and after his court appearance.
The question before the Constitutional Court was whether De Klerk could sue only the police and not the minister of justice and constitutional development for his unlawful detention.
Four judgments were written by the court.
Justice Leona Theron, in the majority judgment, said De Klerk could.
But chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and justice Johan Froneman, in separate judgments, said he could not.
Justice Edwin Cameron agreed with Theron’s judgment.
The case has its genesis in a fight De Klerk had with his employer at the time, Rael Lasarow, on December 12 2012.
In his complaint to the police, Lasarow alleged that De Klerk had pushed him into a glass picture frame hanging on a wall. The glass broke and injured Lasarow.
The Minister of Police should pay R300 000 to a man the police wrongfully arrested in December 2012 and who spent a week in detention before being released.