A police officer who lost his job when wrongly convicted of indecent assault has to pay back a decade after his six-year reinstatement struggle ended in victory.
The appeal against labor The Gqeberha court this week ordered the National Police Commissioner to reinstate Captain Meshack Phopho “without delay … without loss of rank, salary, allowances, privileges or benefits”.
In 2015 then Commissioner Riah Phiyega used a technical measure when she turned down a recommendation to reinstate Phopho after the Grahamstown Supreme Court upheld his appeal.
Phopho won his reinstatement case in Labor Court, but the police laid down Appealed and released a team of three attorneys against Phophos’ only legal aid attorney in the appellate court.
A bank of three judges came concluded that Phiyega “arbitrarily and irrationally [and] violated the principle of legality in the constitution” when she refused to reinstate Phopho after his successful appeal because he failed to resign within 30 days of the enactment of the Phophos’ ordeal began when he allegedly assaulted a colleague at the Maclear Police Station in the Eastern Cape in 2010.
A disciplinary hearing acquitted him, but by then criminal charges were filed and the Elliot District Court sentenced him and sentenced him to eight years in prison.
Phopho immediately signaled his intention to appeal, but within eleven days he was released under the SA Police Service Act.
In her response 18 months later, Phiyega said his application should have been made within 30 days of the November 2014 ruling, even though Phopho’s attorney said he was not informed of the result until three months later .
Phiyega said at the time, “The late filing is a negligence of the dismissed member’s lawyers. It is therefore not a problem for SAPS. The delay cannot be proven in any way. The burden of proof lies with the member and can be asserted in court. SAPS must adhere to the regulations and be consistent. “
In the Court of Appeal’s decision, Judge Philip Coppin said that successful appeal against his conviction should have resulted in his automatic reinstatement Days to apply for reinstatement, the SAPS Act was “open to a meaning that is contrary to the Constitution and inconsistent with the Constitution,” he said.
“For the questions raised on this matter, we must possibly metaphorically applying palliative therapy to a limb that may be gangrenous and require amputation, possibly along with other limbs equally affected by the same disease. “