South Africa Law
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All 3 parties should be sued. In the first place the supermarket and security firm for the unlawful detention in the supermarket's back office. They only had a suspicion, without any shred of evidence. In the second place, the police for the unlawful arrest and detention, because after arriving on the scene, the police should have taken your wife's details and investigated the matter further. One could perhaps excuse the security and supermarket for not knowing the burden of proof in criminal cases, but the police should have known that they must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that your wife intentionally stole the bottle of wine.
The issue of compensation is a grey area. The presiding officer will award an amount that is just and equitable under the circumstances. He will look at the duration of the unlawful detention, the way your wife was treated, the embarrassment suffered by your wife (a psychologist's report in this instance would be helpful - indicating the trauma suffered by your wife) and then also your wife's standing in the community will play a role. Compensation could therefore be anything from R50,000 to R1,000 000. There are just too many variables to give a fixed amount.
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