Crime victim wins case against minister

2012-11-16 12:03

Johannesburg - The defence minister is liable for damages suffered by a Groblersdal man shot nine times during a 2003 robbery with an army-issued automatic rifle, Beeld reported on Friday.

The SA National Defence Force would have to pay for the injuries suffered by Leon van Beneke, who spent months in intensive care and still walked with difficulty, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled.

The rifle parts and ammunition were stolen piece by piece by Jacob Motaung, an employee at the Infantry Military Base in Middelburg, and given to one Vusi Mahlangu, with the knowledge that Mahlangu intended to commit armed robberies.

Five appeal court judges agreed unanimously that the defence force had a constitutional obligation to protect the country's citizens.

Van Beneke was given leave to pursue his damages claim.

"There is no doubt that enormous damage can be inflicted on the public when defence force weapons are inadequately guarded. The minister of defence must take responsibility when her employees do not perform their duties as far as the safeguarding of weapons is concerned," the judges said.

Furthermore, the minister had not managed to convince the court that everything possible had been done to prevent the theft of the weapons. The judges ordered the minister to pay Van Beneke's legal fees in the high court and the appeal court.

  • michael.horton.566790 - 2012-11-16 12:16

    Well done Van Beneke! Is there nowhere in this country where government run orginizations do not have corruption and criminals??? The time to step down is NOW Zuma!!!! You are failing this country terribly!!!

      Desilusionada - 2012-11-16 12:30

      Great! Best wishes for the future. Don't begrudge you a cent. May the rehab go well. Just a pity the Taxpayer will foot the bill.....

      michael.horton.566790 - 2012-11-16 12:45

      @ Desilusionada - I would rather see my money go to a person that deserves it than to give it to this corrupt government we have!

      claudia.meads - 2012-11-16 12:51

      AMAZING..!!! This will open the floodgates for South African citizens to sue the ANC regime for ALL measure of damages suffered due to state negligence..! My suggestion: if you suffered to any state/municipal/governmental negligence - see a lawyer/solicitor asap and then sue the most feckless regime in SA's history out of existence.

      msturmair - 2012-11-16 13:09

      zuma and his cronies need to be fired - never mind step down....they dont deserve the position

      gideon.walt - 2012-11-16 15:13

      Its not the Minister's again we getting nailed. But good for you winning and getting some compensation. That b*tch is probably bumbed because now there is less for her and her cronies to steal.

  • joseph.vanvuuren - 2012-11-16 12:22

    Smoke them good!!!

  • john.p.steyn - 2012-11-16 12:40

    The tax payer has to now pay for our loser governments stuff up

      JanGrimbeek - 2012-11-16 14:14

      At least we know where that portion of tax payers money will go to !!

  • - 2012-11-16 12:47

    Very good. The only problem is that the state means us. Were paying for stuffups the morons in charge of defence makes

  • charlesmakgale.radingoane - 2012-11-16 12:51

    Good stuff

  • zelda.dickson - 2012-11-16 12:52

    Well done Van Beneke. Today's big headlines say Zuma is not corrupt. I rest my case. The whole of the government is in cuckoo land.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-11-16 13:01

    He should now also sue the entire chain of command involved in the dereliction of duty and oversight in their personal capacities. The public should have the right to sue any person in any public office who does not deliver proper service, Zuma is a disgrace... and the Nation should sue him in a class action suite, including his tribe of inept spokespeople and cabinet ministers who have help in creating this debunked useless thieving and leeching ruling party within a party which believe they are royalty. Down with the ANC.

      norman.buchalter - 2012-11-16 13:49

      I agree with you Gken. I have called for the nation to sue in a class action suite before and do so again. Until individuals unite, government will comntinue to divide and rule. We urgently need the constitution's electoral laws changed so that the people vote for individuals and that the party is not led by a single man voted in at a national convention as its leader. Would that van Zyl Slabbert had still been alive to ensure his suggestions for a different system of government could have been fulfilled, instead of lying dormant and dead under piles of festering ministerial incompetence and entitlement.

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2012-11-16 13:04

    It is indeed good news. What would have been better news is if the minister would have to personally dip into his deep Armani suit pockets to pay. I'm all for restorative justice: to put the victim in the same position he was in as before the crime was committed. Maybe people would be a little more careful then. Leon van Beneke will never be the man he was before, but at least his life should be made a lot easier.

  • john.morreira.9 - 2012-11-16 13:10

    SA National DEFENCE force ?? An oxymoron if ever there was one.

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-16 13:30

    9 years on and if I'm not mistaken they still stealing weapons from the SANDF!!!

  • norman.buchalter - 2012-11-16 13:45

    This is great news to all law abiding citizens. Well done judges and well done justice for holding the Minister liable.We hope the plaintiff wins an enormous amount in his damages claim. The successfully prosecuted Buchalter and Carmichel cases have obviously set the tone and created the precedent to hold ourl the Government liable for loss of life and or limb, and to ensure that they uphold the constitutional principles of providing the duty of care and protection to the citizens of this land so entitled, and that justice is served even though no amount of justice or money can ever compensate for the loss of life, grievous injury and suffering that has so callously been allowed by an even more uncaring government to destroy families and reduce individuals to helpless dependents needing 24 hour care and precious little quality of life. May this judgement send as strong a message to government as did the 2 cases alluded to above, and may the government be held to account for all its many and varied excesses and fail in all its continual attempts to subvert the constitution to its own nefarious purposes. Viva justice! Viva! Viva cotizens! Viva!

  • sagin.verity - 2012-11-16 13:52

    Good. Money will never make up for the pain and suffering, nor the lingering effects of being shot so many times, but You got a little justice. Wishing You the best and a full recovery.

  • melanie.vanminnen - 2012-12-06 19:49

    I am proud of you!!! Fight those corrupt and incompetent Black leaders who do noT deserve to govern the country. The ANC is a DISGRACE to the country and are the laughing stock of the world. They have no guilt, nor shame, nor remorse and are no better than the criminalsl in South AfricA!

  • melanie.vanminnen - 2012-12-06 19:50

    I am proud of you!!! Fight those corrupt and incompetent Black leaders who do noT deserve to govern the country. The ANC is a DISGRACE to the country and are the laughing stock of the world. They have no guilt, nor shame, nor remorse and are no better than the criminalsl in South AfricA!

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