The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has ordered the Ministry of Police to pay self-proclaimed Prophet Paseka "Mboro" Motsoeneng R100 000 in damages for unlawfully arresting and detaining him in 2011.
Acting Judge D Makhoba also ordered that the ministry pay interest to Motsoeneng from the date of the service of the summons to the date of payment.
"I am of the view that a fair and appropriate award of damages for the plaintiff's unlawful arrest and detention is an amount of R100 000," Makhoba said.
He found that Motsoeneng had been arrested for an improper motive.
Makhoba said the court took all the relevant facts into account, including Motsoeneng's status, age, the circumstances of his arrest, and his social and professional standing.
Motsoeneng's lawyer Andries Grovè said Motsoeneng was arrested at a shopping mall where some of his church members were carrying firearms.
Grovè said Motsoeneng was held for 11 hours on a charge of carrying an illegal firearm, which he did not have in his possession.
After the ruling, the lawyer said they would study the judgment further and decide what the next step would be.
"Obviously the judge considered 11 factors when he made the judgment. Whether it's on the low end or not, we're still going to decide and we will take it from there."
Motsoeneng said the lawsuit was not about the money, but about getting justice for being wrongfully arrested.
"For me, it is not really just about money because we didn't sue for financial losses. If you calculate that, that is millions, but we just left that one. It is about judgment and unlawful arrest because there are people spending time in jail for things they didn't do. Some are being framed," Motsoeneng said.
He said the arrest was humiliating for him but he was now happy that it had concluded in his favour.
Motsoeneng added that he would use some of the funds to make a donation to victims of last week's fire in Alexandra, near Sandton.