A former SBV guard, has lost his lawsuit against the SAPS, following his detention and questioning regarding a R3,9 million cash-in-transit heist, at the Montclair Shopping Centre in 2006.
Judge Jacqui Enriques recently ruled in the Pietermaritzburg High Court that Bheki Treasure Gumede (the plaintiff) had not proved that he was unlawfully arrested and assaulted by detectives of the Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit. The Minister of Safety and Security was cited as the defendant.
Judge Henriques also dismissed the plaintiff’s claim that he was stripped naked, had his arms tied behind his back to a chair, had his face and head covered with a nylon stocking and that he was suffocated with a wet rubber tube.
According to the judgment, the stolen loot was not found and the robbers were not arrested. Said Judge Enriques: “The plaintiff was seated in the driver’s seat in the SBV vehicle, parked at the Montclair Shopping Centre. During the heist , the vehicle was hijacked with the plaintiff inside. It was subsequently abandoned not far from the centre. The plaintiff’s crew, including a Mr Katlego, the Standard Bank custodian, RT Zondi , the rifleman, and Thulani Ngcobo, the team leader, were left at the centre.”
The judge added that neither the plaintiff nor any of his crew were charged criminally, although shortly after the robbery, the plaintiff’s employer suspected him of being involved.
According to the judgment, the plaintiff and others failed polygraph tests.
” It is also common cause that a few days after the incident, the plaintiff sought medical help at the Victoria Hospital and that he was suicidal. The defendant denied that the plaintiff was arrested and assaulted but admits that the policemen, acted within the course and scope of their employment, ” said Judge Henriques.
The court said the J88 form, completed by a doctor, revealed nothing untoward. “Nor did the plaintiff submit to an examination by a medical practitioner at the time of his admission to hospital. In addition, neither did he deem it appropriate to lay criminal charges against policemen. Nor did he deem it prudent to lodge a formal complaint with the Independent Police Investigative Directive. He did not testify about injuries caused by the alleged assault. The plaintiff’s case is dismissed with costs,” said Judge Enriques.