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Court ends NPA's Ranch chase

The SCA rules in favour of strip club owner Andrew Phillips in his 13-year-old case.

Court gavel. Picture: RSC Inc.

JOHANNESBURG - The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein on Friday ruled in favour of strip club owner Andrew Phillips in his long running battle with the state - which has stretched over 13 years.

The SCA granted a stay of prosecution, which means Phillips cannot be prosecuted again in connection with The Ranch and the Titty Twister.

In February 2000, Phillips' assets - valued at several hundred million Rand - were seized by the then Scorpions.

The state believed Phillips had used his brothels to live off the proceeds of prostitution.

He was acquitted in 2008 and the SCA today dismissed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA's) appeal.

Phillips said he was extremely relieved.

"I am absolutely elated. It brings to an end a long, tedious, saga that I have always believed should never have been initiated. It was initiated because I was a project of the NPA at that time."