Farmer reaches settlement with marathon runner he shot

2017-05-11 22:19
A photograph of Zephania Buti Mokoena submitted to the court. (via Netwerk24)

A photograph of Zephania Buti Mokoena submitted to the court. (via Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – A Mpumalanga farmer has reached a settlement with a marathon athlete after he shot him in the neck on Christmas Eve in 2001.

Details of the settlement have not been made public, Netwerk24 reported.

According to court documents, Zephania Buti Mokoena, 41, is a paraplegic and permanently disabled as a result of his injuries.

Gawie Volschenk, who farms on Morgenster near Hendrina and Breyton in the Ermelo district, reached the agreement with Mokoena in April.

Mokoena, who had worked for Volschenk, claimed R7.5m in damages. The settlement has been made an order of the High Court in Pretoria.

Mokoena claims Volschenk shot him when he tried to intervene when the farmer beat his parents with a hockey stick.

According to him, Volschenk was trying to get rid of workers who had already been on the farm when he bought it.

Mokoena says in court documents that he has sensorimotor problems, and no feeling or functionality from where the injury occurred downwards.

According to a medical report, the bullet damaged his spinal cord.

Warning shot, self-defence

He is staying in a care facility in Badplaas and receives a government grant.

Pictures of Mokoena’s marathon certificates were submitted in court. He was a member of the Ermelo marathon club and had been sponsored by a mining company.

Since the shooting, he has been in a wheelchair, according to claim details submitted.

A surgeon at the Ermelo hospital said in a medico-legal report in 2009 that Mokoena visited the hospital for physiotherapy and bed sores in May 2002. He was later transferred to another hospital.

Volschenk said in court papers that Mokoena had been among a group of about 10 people who had attacked him and that he’d initially fired a warning shot into the ground. When the group continued to attack him, he fired a shot in Mokoena’s direction.

He admits wounding Mokoena, but claims it was in self-defence.

He argues that it was justifiable because Mokoena "and several other people" attacked him.

According to him, his son (who was 14 at the time) and/or his brother were also attacked. He alleges they were attacked with the "hand, sticks and/or metal objects".

He claims he fired the shot to save his life and that of his son and brother, as well as to protect their property.

He denied that he had to pay Mokoena damages.

Read more on:    mpumalanga  |  pretoria  |  shootings  |  crime  |  lawsuits

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