Springs man to sue po­lice, mu­nic­i­pal­ity

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

Ilse de Lange

A Springs mo­torist who was ar­rested and kept in cus­tody for three days has been granted leave to pro­ceed with a dam­ages claim against the Ekurhu­leni mu­nic­i­pal­ity and po­lice min­is­ter.

The High Court in Pre­to­ria granted an or­der con­don­ing Mark Ober­holzer’s fail­ure to in­sti­tute his dam­ages claim within the legally pre­scribed six months.

Ober­holzer, 45, of Struben­vale in Springs, said in court pa­pers that he and Ampie Kruger were trav­el­ling on the N12 high­way on the evening of Novem­ber 30, 2015, when they were con­fronted by an Ekurhu­leni traf­fic of­fi­cer, who ac­cused them of reck­less driv­ing and im­per­son­at­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer – de­spite them do­ing noth­ing wrong. They were in­structed to fol­low him to the OR Tambo Air­port po­lice sta­tion where they were ar­rested.

The of­fi­cer later found two firearms in Ober­holzer’s ve­hi­cle and added an­other charge, neg­li­gent han­dling of a firearm, be­cause he did not have a gun safe in­side the ve­hi­cle.

Ober­holzer and Kruger were first de­tained at the air­port po­lice sta­tion, then at the Tem­bisa South and Boks­burg North po­lice sta­tions and were only taken to court for the first time on De­cem­ber 2.

They were re­leased on bail and all charges against them were later with­drawn.

The men claimed their ar­rest and con­tin­ued de­ten­tion was un­law­ful as the charges were false and brought for no ap­par­ent rea­son. There was no war­rant for their ar­rest, the of­fences de­tailed in the docket were not sched­ule of­fences and they were de­prived of their free­dom for longer than 48 hours.

Ober­holzer in­sisted there was no rea­son to ar­rest and de­tain him as he posed no risk to the com­mu­nity, there were no grounds to believe he would harm him­self or any­one else and there could not have been any grounds to sus­pect that he had even com­mit­ted an of­fence.

He ap­proached an at­tor­ney in Ger­mis­ton to in­sti­tute a dam­ages claim, but went to see an­other at­tor­ney in Pre­to­ria af­ter hear­ing noth­ing from her for 13 months, af­ter it be­came ap­par­ent that sum­mons was never is­sued.

This re­sulted in his new at­tor­ney only is­su­ing and serv­ing the claim on the gov­ern­ment re­spon­dents in Novem­ber last year.

The ar­rest and con­tin­ued de­ten­tion was un­law­ful as the charges were false and brought for no ap­par­ent rea­son.

Mark Ober­holzer in court pa­pers

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