Police minister to pay over R2m for wrongful arrest

This comes after a man was wrongfully arrested when police mistook him for his twin brother.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria has ordered Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to pay more than R2 million to a businessman who was wrongfully arrested when police mistook him for his twin brother.

In 2011, Shane Smith was arrested at his brother Wayne's house in Alberton.

He was allegedly assaulted by police officers who were looking for his twin.

After being detained for 29 days, Smith was released and a charge of theft was withdrawn.

Shane says despite several attempts to convince the police officers who were in plain clothes that they were mistaking him for his twin, police continued to point firearms at him.

"They assaulted me in front of my son and girlfriend. They even showed them my driver's licence. You know there's a photo of my brother and his wife in his lounge, I showed this to them, but they wouldn't listen to me. They continued assaulting me."

According Judge Francis Legodi's ruling in the court, Smith will be awarded more than R2 million to cover future and past medical expenses, general damages and also loss of earnings.

The police minister has also been ordered to pay his legal bill.