Man sues cops for R1.2m dam­ages over as­sault

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ZELDA VEN­TER

TAX­PAY­ERS will have to pay for the pain in­flicted on a Mafikeng man by the po­lice, which started with a com­plaint by a neigh­bour that he had as­saulted his 3-year-old step­daugh­ter.

Petrus Tshisi was left with in­juries across his body, be­fore he was thrown into a po­lice ve­hi­cle and locked up in a cell for a few hours.

Tshisi claimed R1.2 mil­lion in dam­ages from the Po­lice Min­istry, say­ing the in­ci­dent not only left him with phys­i­cal scars, but post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der as well.

When ac­cused by the po­lice of as­sault­ing the child, Tshisi said he loved her like his own. He ex­plained to the high court sit­ting in Mafikeng that he some­times gave the child a hid­ing to rep­ri­mand her, “like any other adult would, but not to kill her”.

How­ever, he ad­mit­ted that he does pinch the child, but not to the ex­tent of “pulling her flesh off”.

Tshisi, who lived with his girl­friend and the child in a vil­lage near Rusten­burg, said his girl­friend phoned him on Jan­uary 23, 2012, to tell him the po­lice were look­ing for him.

He at first did not believe her, but after the po­lice or­dered him to go home, he re­alised there were prob­lems.

The po­lice were wait­ing for him and asked him about hit­ting the child. He tried to ex­plain that he only gave her the oc­ca­sional hid­ing. How­ever, he said one of the of­fi­cers grabbed him by the throat and slapped him.

An­other of­fi­cer as­saulted him with “a wet tekkie” on his back, while he was also kicked on his body. One of the of­fi­cers said “let’s take this dog to the po­lice sta­tion”.

He got into the po­lice van, with his girl­friend and the child.

Tshisi said his girl­friend was forced to make a state­ment against him, but she re­fused and she said he did not hit the child. The three were later taken home by the po­lice and noth­ing came of the charges against the step­fa­ther.

Tshisi said he could not walk the next morn­ing as he was in so much pain. He went to a doc­tor, who had recorded that he suf­fered from a frac­tured rib, mul­ti­ple bruises across his face and in­juries to his pri­vate parts.

His girl­friend told the court that she had never laid the charges against him.

The po­lice, how­ever, tes­ti­fied that they had re­ceived a call from a mem­ber of the com­mu­nity that his neigh­bour had as­saulted the child.

They said they went to Tshisi’s home and spoke to him and his girl­friend about the neigh­bour’s ac­cu­sa­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to them, both did not re­spond when asked about the as­saults and they thus con­cluded the man was guilty.

They de­nied as­sault­ing Tshisi, but could not ex­plain the host of in­juries he had suf­fered and the pic­tures taken of his in­juries to sup­port his claims.

The po­lice were also at a loss for words as to why they did not speak to the neigh­bour to ob­tain de­tails of the al­leged as­sault on the child.

Judge JT Djaje ques­tioned the fact that the po­lice, in light of the med­i­cal ev­i­dence re­gard­ing Tshisi’s in­juries, sim­ply de­nied that he was as­saulted. He re­jected their ver­sion and said they could not sim­ply take the law into their own hands in deal­ing with a com­plaint.

He con­cluded that the po­lice were 100% li­able for Tshisi’s dam­ages.

Jean-Paul Rudd, Tshisi’s lawyer, said they would now ob­tain the re­ports from the ex­perts to tes­tify on the dam­ages his clients had suf­fered and how much in dam­ages he should re­ceive.

They could not sim­ply take the law into their own hands

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.