Actor Vusumzi Thanda – arrested in front of his fans for charges he knew nothing about – is claiming R4.5m in damages from the police, claiming that while he acted in several dramas for the SABC prior to the incident, nobody would give him any roles after his arrest.

According to him, he was branded a thief, although his name was cleared after the state dropped the charges against him, says a report in The Star. In papers before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) he said he was detained in Ermelo in June 2015 by the police who believed he had committed a crime in 2013.

At around 4pm that day he was taken for an identity parade, where an elderly woman he suspected was the complainant’s domestic worker was told to point out the thief. The woman, however, said the culprit was not among those in the identity parade.

Thanda said he was told to go home, but report to court in September.

In court papers, he said he made several court appearances for the case until the state decided in February 2016 to withdraw the charges against him. He claimed the police were malicious in the way in which they handled his case.

The police, on the other hand, said Thanda’s arrest was justified and called on him to prove his allegations against them. The matter is still pending before the court.

Full report in The Star (subscription needed)