Wrongfully arrested man opens up about 11-year imprisonment

Thembekile Molaudzi was wrongfully arrested in 2002 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

FILE: Eight men, including Molaudzi, were arrested and during two identity parades, Makuna's daughter, who witnessed her father's murder, pointed out four suspects.  Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A former Pretoria taxi driver who was wrongfully arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment has spoken of his ordeal behind bars after being released from the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison more than a decade later.

Thembekile Molaudzi was implicated by a co-accused in the 2002 murder of Mothutlung policeman Dingaan Makuna.

Last month, the Constitutional Court reversed its own ruling and ordered Molaudzi's immediate release.

Eight men, including Molaudzi, were arrested and during two identity parades, Makuna's daughter, who witnessed her father's murder, pointed out four suspects.

Although Molaudzi wasn't one of the people identified he was still found guilty when a co-accused confessed and implicated him in the crime.

The now 37-year-old father says staying positive kept him going.

"From day one I was very optimistic but there were delays and disappointments along the way."

Molaudzi spent 11 years in prison while trying to prove his innocence.

His plea fell on deaf ears until prison warder Levi Mphakane heard his story and helped him connect with the people who later helped him acquire his freedom.