2006-10-26 : Paraplegic sues minister for R16m

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2006-10-26 : Paraplegic sues minister for R16m

Postby GOSA » Mon, 2006-10-30 12:59


Paraplegic sues minister for R16m
Fatima Schroeder
October 26 2006 at 10:27AM

A man left a paraplegic after his cousin, who was out on bail on a murder charge, shot him with his licensed firearm, is suing the minister of safety and security for R16,5-million.

The minister, who has been found liable for damages on the grounds that the man should not have had the gun, is disputing the amount claimed.

The multi-million-rand claim is seven times the amount Pedro de Lima initially claimed when the case first went to court four years ago.

But De Lima says that he would have earned R40 000 a month had Jose Dos Santos not shot him and caused him to become paralysed.

Seven times the amount Pedro de Lima initially claimed

Of the R16,5m, more than R8m is for future loss of earnings, while an additional R2,92m is for the income he had lost from the time of his injury until February this year.

De Lima operated a fish shop in Goodwood called Lima's Fisheries. In March 1996, outside the shop, De Lima and Dos Santos had an argument. Dos Santos took out his licenced firearm and shot his cousin.

At the time, Dos Santos was out on bail for murder and had been accused of slitting someone's throat.

He had also been admitted to Stikland Psychiatric Hospital for a mental illness.

The court also heard that the police official who had dealt with the firearm licence application had failed to investigate why an assault charge against him had been withdrawn.

Was apt to fly into an uncontrollable rage

In October 2003, the Cape High Court found that the minister be held liable for the amount of damages De Lima proved, saying that the police were negligent in issuing a firearm licence to Dos Santos who, when provoked, was apt to fly into an uncontrollable rage.

Justice Anton Veldhuizen slammed the police for issuing the firearm licence.

But the minister then appealed against the ruling to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which ruled in De Lima's favour in March last year.

This week De Lima returned to the high court to prove the amount of damages the minister should pay him.

He says that he will require several surgical procedures, psychotherapy and building alterations to his home in order to accommodate his disability are expected to cost him more than R400 000.

The case continues before Justice Burton Fourie.

o This article was originally published on page 6 of Cape Times on October 26, 2006
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