Ten Craziest South African Arrests

You were arrested for what?! We all have friends with a crazy arrest story: a Christmas party gone wrong after granny drank all the punch, a laddish birthday that went awry when the boys got down to their boxers … South Africa has no shortage of bizarre arrest stories. 

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Here are our top 10 craziest South African arrests

1. Jumping into bed with his wife…’s mother

toes in bed

Normally mother-in-laws are a source of much consternation. But this young Bloemfontein man decided that after a few drinks his ‘skoon ma’, or should we say ‘Stifler’s mom’, was actually pretty dishy. After a fun time, the two fell into bed together. The rest, as they say, is forgotten…in this case quite literally as both were inebriated and can’t remember what happened.

His first statement said he had mistaken the 50-year-old woman for his 22-year-old wife. But then later the 31-year-old man released a statement apologising and said he does not know what happened. The charges of sexual assault were withdrawn, and so were his wife’s marriage vows as reports say the couple have since split.  

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2. Fake cardiologist loses heart when she is arrested

woman doctor

Why study medicine for 10 years? Simply qualify at online medical school and you can be a cardiologist too! Or so this 19-year-old Polokwane woman thought when she used a fake American cardiologist’s certificate to apply for a cardiologist’s position at Limpopo Polokwane hospital.

The Hawks who apprehended the woman confirmed that she did not even have a matric certificate behind her name.

What might be even more interesting is the Limpopo MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba’s response to the incident.

“We’re dealing with people’s lives here and when you employ somebody who is not a cardiologist to do that job, where does it put us?”

You’re ‘dead’ right Ramathuba! We will take that to ‘heart’.

3. Impersonating a famous dead man


Elvis impersonators be warned.  A South African man was arrested for impersonating a dead singer.

South African police arrested the suspected fraudster in 2012 for impersonating the award-winning traditional singer Khulekani Kwakhe “Mgqumeni” Khumalo, who died in 2009.

The unnamed man had said he had not died but was kidnapped by a witch doctor who cast a spell on him and imprisoned him in a cave with zombies, local media reported.

Thousands of people in Khumalo’s rural eastern home village of Esiggumeni, turned out to see the man. Riot police with truncheons and water cannons were deployed to keep the crowd under control according to Reuters.

4. ‘Courting’ in front of the judge

bonnie and clyde robbers

In a Bonnie-and-Clyde-like court appearance in Mossel Bay, two thieves who had just been found guilty started making out in front of the judge. This did not help their case, where orderlies had to wrench them apart and put them on opposite sides of the courtroom.

The judge then increased their sentence, adding charges for contempt of court and public indecency.

Eyewitnesses said the court session was well underway when the couple decided to engage in a different kind of courting and started pawing each other and grinding their hips as the judge and jury watched, jaws dropping open, IOL.co.za reported.


5. Impersonating an undercover cop


An actor in Cape Town pursued a man who grabbed his cash and ran into a nearby club. The actor told the bouncer that he was an undercover cop in order to gain entry into the club and retrieve his money. A street beggar saw the incident and told police about it who then arrested the impersonator.

The actor’s response? “Thanks a lot, Hollywood for the terrible idea: my mom bailing me out of jail on Christmas Eve was just the pits.”

6. Pulling a friend’s hair extensions


A few friends had a spat at a well-known horse racing event, after one of the jockeys hid his friend’s car keys because he thought his friend was too inebriated to drive home. A scuffle ensued between the girlfriends of the two jockeys, at which point one of the women pulled her ‘friend’s’ extensions out of her hair.

Both girls laid charges of assault at the police station. However, it was settled out of court through a mediator. Moral of the story? Getting catty might even land you in Chookie so put away the claws after a night out.

7. Arrests can come at the cost of an arm and a leg…


Police arrested a 27-year-old man in Kimberley in connection with the illegal possession of human body parts which he had acquired from the funeral parlour where he worked.

The human body parts, which include a heart and lungs, were found [in] the suspect’s freezer in Bathlaros.

Violating a corpse or a grave are both crimes according to SAPS. However, the man’s motive for possessing the body parts had not yet been established and police investigations were continuing.

8. Stashing gold in a geyser or car’s engine


If you think that water and electricity is pricey, try competing with a geyser with contents that is worth R1 million! A woman in Welkom was arrested for stowing gold bearing material in her geyser.

“When officers arrived at a house after receiving information that a large sum of money and gold-bearing material was being kept there, they found a woman at the house. Upon executing the search warrant‚ 50kg of gold-bearing material‚ gold processing equipment as well as R1 082 400 in cash were found in the house,” a Hawks statement said.

The suspect faces charges of acquisition‚ possession‚ and disposal of unwrought precious metal.

Recently, in a similar move, a man was arrested after being found with R50 million’s worth of unwrought gold hidden in the engine of his silver Audi. This gives new meaning to saying that a german car is ‘expensive’!

9. Pastors losing the plot


While pastors as a group may aim to transcend human folly, they are not above the law.

Pastor Penuel Mnguni, the pastor of the End Times Disciples Ministries was known for subjecting his congregation to swallowing live snakes and eating grass. The South African Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals opened a case against him last year, after which he was granted bail.

Recently, another pastor was arrested by the Hawks for operating a ponzi scheme and running away with the congregation’s money.

10. Tattletale-ing about a ‘sext’ gone wrong


Margaret van Wyk’s ‘hockey mom’ frenemies could face arrest said expert.

According to social media law expert, Verlie Oosthuizen, the people who posted the picture of van Wyk’s privates, which accidently went to a Whatsapp group instead of her husband, could face legal action. It all depends on whether van Wyk decides to take legal action.

“They have infringed her privacy, and have definitely infringed on her dignity (basic human rights). She would probably have some kind of claim for legal bullying,” he cautioned.

What to do if you are APPrehended


Arrests are often at the police’s discretion. Make sure you are prepared for any eventuality by downloading this app and taking out sufficient legal cover for your legal representation.

The App ‘I’m getting arrested’, inspired by a real Occupy Wall Street incident, enables anyone to broadcast a custom message to SMS numbers in the event that they are arrested.

In addition, legal insurance is a cheap and easy way to access top quality lawyers for a fraction of the cost. It can help you in criminal and civil matters, such as any of the incidents above.
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