Bheki Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Image via Twitter @joy_zelda/ @MphoPieLava

R800k: Bheki Cele to compensate 16 unlawfully arrested protesters

Bheki Cele is reportedly ordered to pay a whopping R800 000 to 16 residents who were unlawfully arrested during a protest in 2016.

Bheki Cele

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Image via Twitter @joy_zelda/ @MphoPieLava

South African Minister of Police, Bheki Cele has been ordered to compensate 16 residents a whopping R800 0000 (R50 000 each) after they were unlawfully arrested while protesting and detained at Pudimoe police station in the North West on 14 September 2016, IOL reported.


According to the publication, the 16 residents were arrested at different times while protesting on the N18 Road at the crossroad of Pudimoe and Coseng village. Collectively, they were said to have been charged with contravention of the National Road Traffic Act and the Regulation of Gatherings Act.

On the day of their arrest, protesters were reportedly given ten minutes to disperse the area before a stun grenade was thrown by police. A police captain who is now deceased is said to have instructed the arrest of the remaining protesters who failed to follow the instruction — subsequently leading to the arrest of the 16 residents.

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After spending less than 24-hours in custody, the 16 residents are said to have instituted action against Bheki Cele upon their release and demanded to be compensated R600 000 each for being unlawful arrested, detained, treated inhumanly, and for enduring emotional shock.

Their application was heard at the North West High Court in Mafikeng by Judge AJ Mahlangu who reportedly said that their complaints corroborated well with each other’s versions while she found the police’s versions to be otherwise.

Bheki Cele
Police Minister Bheki Cele . Image via Twitter @joy_zelda

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The residents had embarked on the strike to take a stance against the newly-elected councillor, Lopang Tokwe whom they did not approve of, Taung Daily News reported.

Speaking about the arrested protesters, in 2016, Pudimoe Police Station spokesperson, Sgt Tebogo Thebe was quoted as saying, “They need to follow correct channels and stop taking the law into their own hands… They embarked on a illegitimate protest and barricaded the N18 road between Vryburg and Taung with burning tyres and stones. We urge our communities to engage with law enforcement before embarking on an illegal strike.”

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