Victim turns to RAF

2019-11-27 06:00

The legal team of Leeba Motaung, the Bloemfontein man who survived after allegedly being dragged for about 50 m with a state vehicle in November 2016, has lodged a claim for compensation with the Road Accident Fund (RAF).

This is to ensure the victim gets justice while waiting for the outcome of the criminal case against the accused policemen Mahlomola Tsholo and Medupe Mqhwathi.

Motaung’s attorney, Ariko Stoltz of Honey Attorneys, confirmed the lodging of the claim. Stoltz said they would consider filing a lawsuit against the Minister of Police.

“If the third-party claim is not successful, we have as a precautionary measure also instituted a claim against the Minister of Police, to ensure that Mr Motaung’s rights are reserved to that effect.

“The lawsuit against the Minister of Police is based on the two officials’ failure to act in terms of their duties as members of the South African Police Services, as well as their failure to execute the proper duty of care towards a member of the public. Summons have been issued in the Bloemfontein High Court,” said Stoltz.

Tsholo and Mqhwathi are facing a charge of attempted murder after allegedly dragging Motaung along about 50 m with a state van on 26 November 2016 in Caleb Motshabi, Bloemfontein.

The man’s right leg was severely fractured during the event, in which the vehicle also drove over his legs.

The trial has exceeded the three-year time frame during which it was expected to be finalised. Phaladi Shuping, provincial spokesperson for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said reasons for postponements and delays in finalising the trial range from outstanding parti­culars and legal fees to the unavailability of the state prosecutor in the case and attorneys of the accused.

“One would expect that a case of this nature would receive proper diligence by the state to ensure that members of the public are protected from such actions from police members,” said Stoltz.

“I am, however, still hopeful that the NPA will ensure that the process in terms of the prosecution of these members are attended to with the utmost due diligence and therefore hopefully that justice will be served,” she added.

Mqhwathi and Tsholo are expected to reappear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on 5 December.

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