Bar manager to sue SAPS after arrest for serving non-alcoholic drinks

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The manager of a sports bar in Pretoria is set to sue the South African Police Service (SAPS) after he was arrested for selling non-alcoholic drinks to customers at the bar.

Atrayo Nolte, 31, has been working as a general manager at Hennie’s Sports Bar in Moreleta Park for a year and half. He spoke to VK News earlier today, saying he wants justice to be served on the police officers who confiscated R112 000 worth of liquor from the sports bar, before luring him to the police station to be arrested.

Picture: Atrayo Nolte

“They had no right to arrest me. The way they lied to me to get me in the cell. I even helped them load the liquor. I’m definitely taking this further,” he said.

The father of two says he feared he would contract Covid-19 after he was forced into a holding cell, where other suspects were being held without any masks or sanitiser.

“The officers stormed into the bar last week Friday after we had just finished serving some customers some non-alcoholic drinks. It was alcohol-free beer and gin. The officers insisted the drinks contained alcohol and made me take them to the storeroom,” Nolte said.

He said the officers refused to use a breathaliser to check if the customers had consumed alcohol.

“When we opened the storeroom the officers said, ‘We’re confiscating this’. It was R112 000 worth of liquor,” Nolte added.

He said he assisted the police to load the alcohol and was then asked if he could accompany them to Garsfontein police station.

“I followed them there and they gave me a form to sign for a case number after which I was asked to follow one of the officers to the back around a corner. He then asked me to take off my belt and shoelaces,” Nolte explained.

He told VK News he was dumbstruck and asked the officer what was happening.

“I was told I’m being arrested after I had signed the form, which was for processing an arrest. I was then bundled into a holding with some other guys who weren’t even wearing masks. I have a wife who is six months pregnant and a three-year-old and a six-year-old at home. My concern was more for them, but also for myself,” Nolte said.

After hiring an attorney, he was released later that Friday night and appeared in court on Tuesday last week.

“The case was withdrawn for lack of evidence, but I can’t leave it there. I don’t want any money, it’s a matter of principle. Those guys had no right to confiscate the liquor, let alone arrest me. They exposed me completely,” he said.

Nolte said he will be filing a complaint this week for the trauma he underwent, defamation of character and for putting himself and his family at risk of contracting Covid-19.