Saturday, 10 May 2008

Three sue cops after 'torture'

Zelda Venter

May 09 2008 at 08:16AM

Three people from Hammanskraal who were apparently falsely accused of being members of the Boeremag are claiming about R3-million in damages from the police.

Johannes Oosthuizen and married couple Esther and Willem Nel claimed in papers before the Pretoria high court that they were unlawfully arrested in 2002.

Willem Nel claimed he was assaulted by the police, who cuffed his hands together and his feet to a table.

He said he was kicked and later urinated blood. He also claimed police told him "he has not yet seen how they could hit a boer".

He said he was falsely accused of being a member of the Boeremag.

He claimed he was made to sit on a steel cabinet and a policeman kicked the cabinet from under him. He landed on his back.

He said while being kept at the Atteridgeville police station he was kicked, punched and shocked four times with an electric device.

He said he was "tubed" with the inside of a tyre. He lost consciousness.

Further claims included that he got no food while at the Atteridgeville police station and that he was locked up in a cell without a mattress or blanket.

Oosthuizen, in his particulars of claim, said that after his arrest, he was beaten and accused of being a member of the Boeremag.

He said he, too, was "tubed" to the point of losing consciousness. Oosthuizen said he was then asked by a policeman whether he "had seen heaven".

He said an electric device was attached to his toes, but before it could be activated a policewoman told the others not to shock him.

Both men claimed they were detained for about 16 days.

Esther Nel said she was detained for three days.

She said she was never told what the reason for her arrest was, but she saw a policeman writing on docket that she was a suspect in an armed robbery.

She said she was not allowed to fetch her children from school or make plans for them to be fetched.

She claimed she and her husband were falsely accused of having explosives in their possession.

She further claimed a policeman took their bakkie and never gave it back to them again.

None of the three was charged with the other 22 Boeremag accused. They are still waiting for a court date for the civil trial.

This article was originally published on page 2 of Pretoria News on May 09, 2008


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