Van der Vyver damages claim dismissed
Bloemfontein - The police ministry has won an appeal against Fred van der Vyver, who successfully sued the State for maliciously prosecuting him for the murder of his girlfriend Inge Lotz.
The Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday overturned an earlier finding by the Western Cape High Court that the ministry could be held liable for damages following Van der Vyver's prosecution for Lotz's murder in 2005. He was acquitted in November 2007.
The appeal court found Van der Vyver failed to prove malicious intent on the part of police officers investigating the crime.
It was "far more probable" that police had made a mistake with fingerprint evidence than that there had been a "complicated fraudulent scheme" by officers against Van der Vyver.
It set aside the earlier ruling with costs, finding that since Van der Vyver's civil or constitutional claim against the police was based on the same premise, those could not succeed either.
Lotz was found beaten and stabbed to death in her
Stellenbosch flat in 2005.