Ex-soldier wrongfully convicted of rape and given life sentence wants his job back
A former soldier who was fired over a rape that he went on to prove he didn't commit is headed to the Constitutional Court.
Mozamane Teapson Maswanganyi, axed after being convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on July 18, 2014, sought a ruling compelling the SANDF to automatically reinstate him based on his successful appeal.
He was released from prison on February 16, 2015, after his appeal succeeded and his conviction and sentence were set aside.
“My conviction and sentence were wholly quashed on appeal,” Maswanganyi said in his founding affidavit.
“Notwithstanding this, the SANDF has refused to reinstate me on the basis that the termination of my employment occurred automatically by operation of law.
“As a result, I have lost my livelihood after years of service and am still being penalised for an incorrect conviction that has since been set aside.”
Maswanganyi joined the SANDF in 1992. He was arrested in 2010 for what he maintained was an unsustainable charge of rape.
He tasted victory against the SANDF at the North Gauteng High Court in 2017.
The court ruled that the force misapplied the section of the Defence Act it invoked to terminate Maswanganyi’s employment.
But his victory was short-lived as the SANDF appealed the high court ruling at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and won this year.
The SANDF will oppose Maswanganyi’s application at the Concourt using a similar argument to that which saw its victory at the SCA. Believing this interpretation of the Act was legally unsound, Maswanganyi wanted the apex court to have the final say.
“My family and I have suffered undue hardship as a result of the interpretation adopted by the SCA.”