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South African Man Wins R2.6 Million in Lawsuit Against Police After Wrongful Detention

Published September 27, 2023
9 months ago

A South African man, Ntokozo Patrick Xulu, scored a victory for justice after the Johannesburg High Court ruled in his favour, ordering the Minister of Police to compensate him with R2.6 million for wrongful arrest and detention. This legal victory sends a loud message of accountability to the South African police force.

Mr. Xulu spent over two distressing years behind bars, a total of 813 days, after an unfortunate encounter with a hijacker, identified as "Mr. Rodriguez", outside his home. Despite providing evidence that he acted in self-defence, he was arrested and denied bail.

Despite his earnest attempts to explain his side of the story, Mr. Xulu found himself languishing in prison. Acting Judge Irene de Vos elaborately detailed how Xulu only shot after firing warning shots and how he promptly attempted to report the incident at the nearest police station, indicating his intentions were in line with the law and not against it.

As per Judge de Vos, Xulu's consistent defence had been overlooked, leading to his wrongful detention and wrongful prosecution. The prosecution was oblivious of the fact that Xulu was the victim of an attempted robbery.

Court documents revealed that the initial police report, sent to ballistics for cartridge testing a week post-arrest, supported Xulu's version and labeled the deceased as a hijacker. This evidence had been suppressed initially, plunging Xulu into a terrifying experience in prison.

Judge de Vos called out the police and investigator for ignoring their public duty. Their failure to accurately relay Xulu's defence to the prosecution caused him significant distress, affected his family, and raised questions about misconduct within the police force.

The legal victory, besides granting him a hefty payout, seeks to restore Xulu's tarnished reputation and bring to light questionable practices within South Africa's criminal justice system.

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