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HomeNewsAlleged unrest instigator Sphithiphithi Evaluator sues State for unlawful arrest

Alleged unrest instigator Sphithiphithi Evaluator sues State for unlawful arrest

Pretoria - Social commentator and one of the alleged July 2021 unrest instigators Sphithiphithi Evaluator is suing the State for unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution.

Her case was thrown out of court in March after several postponements.

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The 37-year-old businesswoman, who is known to the Pretoria News, but popularly known as “Sphithiphithi Evaluator” on social media, claims that she was arrested unlawfully by the police in August last year, kept inside a dark room for two days and forced to reveal pin codes of her electronic devices while not being given food or water.

The mother of two has approached the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, through her attorney Godrich Gardee of Gardee attorneys to have Police Minister Bheki Cele and Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi cough up several million.

In the detailed summons court papers seen by Pretoria News, the court gave Cele and Batohi 20 days to respond or pay up.

Sphithiphithi Evaluator also accused the Hawks of breaking the law on the way they handled her arrest with 10 plain clothes police officers turning up “without any arrest warrant” except a search and seizure warrant. Her house was ransacked.

She was charged with incitement to public violence following the unrest in response to the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma.

The case was thrown out of court in March after the National Prosecution Authority failed to produce enough evidence.

The summons said in part: “The police officers were not in police uniform, neither had they arrived in marked police vehicles; they did not have a warrant of arrest but had a search and seizure warrant.

“They informed the plaintiff that they had come to seize all of the electronic devices in her household as they had been used to incite violence on social media (Twitter).

“They took possession of plaintiff’s laptop, cellphones, iPad, wi-fi router and memory sticks (USBs), among others. Of the seized gadgets, some belonged to plaintiff’s family members, including children (aged 3 and 6).

“Every single gadget and device was taken from the plaintiff’s home. Of the 20 seized gadgets which were recorded in the acknowledgement of receipt document by the SAPS, only five belonged to our plaintiff. The remaining 15 belonged to other members of plaintiff’s family.”

The Pretoria News previously reported that all her gadgets had since been returned to her.

“Plaintiff was placed in a cell at the Garsfontein police station for two nights. The cell was cold and had no light. Plaintiff was not given water and/or food for all these days.

The summons further said that on August 29, 2021, members of police who identified themselves as coming from the Hawks, Mr Govender, Mr Mofokeng and another male, arrived at Garsfontein police station at about noon and demanded to take a statement from plaintiff and without a legal representative and despite her protest to have one.

“It is evident that the police arrested to investigate and did not investigate to arrest. This is sheer abuse of power whose intention can only be explained to be an attempt to muzzle the constitutional rights of the plaintiff, intimidate her akin to apartheid security branch modus operandi, and tarnish her image.

“The arrest of August 28, 2021, meets all the hallmarks of unlawful arrest by Hawks and SAPS.

“The conduct of the police was unlawful and unconstitutional in that to date all the gadgets which were seized at plaintiff’s home have been returned with no justifiable reason of being confiscated in the first place.

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