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Mthethwa wins appeal against van der Vyver

The Police Ministry will not pay damages to Fred van der Vyver.

The Police Ministry will not pay damages to Fred van der Vyver.

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday won an appeal against Fred van der Vyver, who had successfully sued the state for maliciously prosecuting him for his girlfriend's murder.

The Supreme Court of Appeal set aside a previous ruling in which the ministry was found liable for damages.

Van der Vyver was charged with Inge Lotz's murder in 2005, but was acquitted two years later.

In 2011, the Western Cape High Court found there was no evidence to show that van der Vyver had killed Lotz.

The court decided only on the merits of the case and was not asked to decide the amount of damages the minister would have to pay van der Vyver.

However, the ministry appealed the judgment.

His lawyers argued in the Supreme Court of Appeal that fingerprints were swopped to fabricate evidence against van der Vyver, but the court was not convinced.

The Police Ministry's Zweli Mnisi said, "The minister of police welcomes the SCA's decision because he feels that the judgment vindicates the SAPS. We also want to emphasise the point that we will continue to employ the highest professional standard when dealing with all crimes."

Van der Vyver was demanding R46 million in damages.