This month sees the last of our series of unlawful arrest and detention cases. Pollex is of the opinion that our readers have now gotten the message, after 20 editions on this topic. In other words, our readers should now know that it is all about attitude, as well as meaningful, relevant and applicable training and/or tutorage presented by competent and informed lecturers and/or tutors. However, this does not to mean that we are not going to publish similar cases in future. Servamus (in the person of Pollex) will, as always, follow all relevant case law (Afrikaans: “regspraak”) in this regard. This month’s case is:
A trip in a police van with an arrested person in the back, costing the SAPS thousands of rands - Terblanche v Minister of Safety and Security (ie the Minister of Police) and W/O M I Mogale (20006/2013)  48 ZASCA (27 March 2015) (SCA)
This is not the usual unlawful arrest and detention case. It is, however, about police conduct which cost the SAPS more than the damages that are usually awarded in respect of most unlawful arrest and detention cases.
According to the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), Mr Ettienne Terblanche was a farmer who was in police custody in the back of a police van at the time of the incident. However, there is no mention either of where the farm concerned is situated, why Terblanche was in police custody, or where the police van concerned was heading.
It was not in dispute that whilst Terblanche was in police custody, he incurred severe injuries to his head, neck and back as a result of being tossed around in the back of a police van, which was being negligently driven by an SAPS member over rough terrain at high speed.