Man severely assaulted by police to get R5,75 mln payout

2016-05-12 09:10

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Pietermaritzburg - A Ladysmith man who was blinded and suffered brain damage as a result of a severe assault on him by policemen is to receive a R5,75 million payout from the state.

The police were apparently looking for a firearm linked to an armed robbery, when they assaulted Innocent Zwelakhe Khubeka of St Joseph Mission.

The amount was agreed to in a settlement reached at the Pietermaritzburg high court between the lawyers for Khubeka and the minister of Police yesterday.

Judge Nompumelelo Radebe, who presided over the case, ordered that the state must pay out the money to Khubeka within 30 days.

The court found police were liable to pay Khubeka for the injuries and damages he sustained when he was severely assaulted by unnamed members of the SA Police Services from Ladysmith police station on September 21, 2010.

According to court papers, Khubeka had initially claimed damages totaling R8 million.

It was alleged that he was unlawfully arrested by members of the SAPS between September 20 and 21, 2010 and was illegally detained.

“At no stage was the plaintiff [Khubeka] informed of any charges levelled against him nor was he given reasons for his arrest and detention.”

While he was in detention Khubeka was allegedly deprived of ablution facilities and his right to contact his legal representatives, according to the court documents.

He was allegedly so severely assaulted by police that he was admitted to the intensive care unit of Ladysmith provincial hospital where he remained for more than three weeks. His injuries included severe head injuries, fractures to “various vertebrae”, a severe ocular injury resulting in blindness in both eyes, brain damage and multiple abrasions and lacerations.

After his release Khubeka was allegedly told by members of the SAPS that they did not intend to charge him and his arrest was a mistake.

According to an affidavit of a family member, Khubeka was also assaulted at his home at the time of his arrest by police.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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