Prominent Esigodini businessman and gold dealer Baron Dube has sued police for $30 000 for detaining him on allegations of inciting a group of illegal gold panners to engage in a street fight with a rival group for the control of goldfields.
Dube (41) and his co-accused Mthulisi Ndlovu were freed by the courts last month after the State failed to sustain a case against them due to lack of evidence.
The businessmen is now demanding $30 000 in damages from Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Ignatius Chombo, Police Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri, and Inspector Socrates Chigumbura stationed at Esigodini Police Station.
In his founding affidavit, Dube submitted that he was unlawfully arrested and detained on 28 July this year at Esigodini Police Station and is thus claiming $15 000 for unlawful arrest and another $15 000 for unlawful detention.
Cde Chombo is cited as the first respondent, Commissioner-General Chihuri and Inspector Chigumbura as second and third respondents respectively. Dube, through his lawyers Mutendi Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, claims that his Constitutional right to liberty was trampled upon through the arrest and detention. He argues that police had no basis to arrest and detain him as he was not involved in the skirmishes.
Dube further contends that despite overwhelming indications that the fights had nothing to do with control of goldfields, police went on to detain him.
“On 28 July 2016 the plaintiff’s employees and Mthulisi Ndlovu’s employees had an altercation over a girlfriend which led to a fight between the two groups. The plaintiff who was absent when the altercation and the fights arose and also being the employer of the other group was only telephoned by the driver that the fight had arisen between the two groups,” reads part of Dube’s affidavit.
Dube claims that upon hearing the information he immediately alerted police through one Inspector Nyakuyedzwa who then informed him that police were looking for him. He further contends that upon arriving at Esigodini Police Station he was arrested and detained despite there being no evidence against him, a move he claimed smacked of abuse of office by the third respondent.
Dube and Ndlovu spent six days in remand prison awaiting bail which was granted for $800 and $600 respectively.
The two were set free after Esigodini resident magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube withdrew the matter before plea after the State failed to sustain a case against them. There were no witnesses against Dube and Ndlovu.
Charges against the pair were that on 28 July they were involved in skirmishes at Habane Business Centre over the control of goldfields. The fights reportedly raged for seven hours before police managed to control the situation. A number of gold panners were arrested, including Dube and Ndlovu.