Police to pay damages to mistakenly shot man
A Soshanguve man’s Sunday morning outing with a friend to fetch his shoe which was being repaired ended with him being shot after he was mistaken by the police for a hijacker.
A Pretoria News report notes that Octavious Rabothaba needed the shoe because he was going for a job interview the next day.
He subsequently instituted a damages claim against the police for the injuries he suffered.
He told the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) that he was walking home in April 2018 when he heard shots being fired and ran to take cover.
The SAPS, in mistaking him for one of the men who had hijacked a car in Winterveldt that morning, claimed that he tried to evade arrest.
The only witness for the police – the officer who actually fired the shot – claimed Rabothaba had pointed a firearm at him and wanted to shoot him.
Rabothaba, in turn, testified that he did not own a firearm.
Regarding the hijacking, he testified he and his friend could not even drive, and they could not have driven the vehicle from Winterveldt, as claimed by the SAPS.
It was stated and not challenged that the plaintiff was shot from the back, and this stood in contrast with a person who posed a danger to the shooter, Acting Judge MP Khumalo said.
He rejected SAPS' version of events.
He ordered that SAPS was liable to pay the victim whatever damages he could prove he had suffered as a result of being shot.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.