WHAT DOES UNLAWFUL ARREST ENTAIL IN SOUTH AFRICAN LAW?
The Constitution places a duty on the police to prevent, combat, and investigate crimes, maintain public order, uphold the law, and to protect and secure all people within the borders of South Africa, including their properties.
The police under the South African Police Department and the Tshwane Metro Police are allowed to use force where necessary to execute their duties. However, the force used must always be proportional to the circumstances. In the event of police officers using excessive and unnecessary force, they may be guilty of a criminal offense, including but not limited to assault.
Apart from the possibility of civil litigation in relation to personal injury laws, Section 4(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act No. 13 of 2013 states: “Any person who commits torture; attempts to commit torture; or incites, instigates, commands, or procures any person to commit torture is guilty of the offence of torture and is liable on conviction to imprisonment, including imprisonment for life.”
Further to this, section 12(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa stipulates that each individual has personal rights to security, free from all forms of violence, torture, and to not be mistreated in a cruel, inhumane, or humiliating manner.