…damages claims are for the “unlawful killing” of a Butha-Buthe man by a police officer
POLICE Commissioner Holomo Molibeli has been slapped with a M2 150 000 lawsuit by a Butha-Buthe couple for the “unlawful and wrongful killing” of their son by a police officer.
Monyane and ‘Mathabo Shao want to be compensated for the killing of their son, Thabiso, by police officer, Mothobi Alexis Mothobi, in July 1995.
Commissioner Molibeli is being sued in his capacity as current police boss despite that the incident occurred long before his appointment.
Attorney General Rapelang Motsieloa is the second respondent in the application which has been filed in the Northern Division of the High Court in Leribe.
In their court papers, the Shao couple argues that Mothobi was acting within the scope of his employment when he killed their son. He was subsequently found guilty of murder and sentenced to eight years in prison back in 2011.
“In wrongfully and unlawfully killing the plaintiffs’ son, the said Mothobi Alexis Mothobi was acting during the course and within the scope of his employment as a police officer as a result of which both defendants are vicariously liable,” the couple argues.
“They said Mothobi was convicted of the murder of the plaintiffs’ son and sentenced by the High Court to eight years imprisonment. The said conviction and sentence was confirmed by the Court of Appeal on the 20th day of April 2011.”
As a result of their son’s murder, the couple alleges that they lost out on material support from him. Hence they want to be compensated to the tune of M2 150 000.
“During his lifetime, the plaintiffs’ deceased son, who had a legal duty thereto, in fact contributed to the plaintiffs’ support. The deceased, had he not been wrongfully and unlawfully killed, would have been legally obliged to continue to support the plaintiffs and he would have been able to do so. Due to the wrongful and unlawful act of the said Mothobi, the plaintiffs have lost their right of support from the deceased and have suffered damages in the sum of M2 000 000. Plaintiffs experienced extreme trauma and emotional shock as a result of their son’s brutal and gruesome murder and suffered damages.”
The couple further wants 10 cows or alternatively M150 000 for their son’s murder.
“The defendants are also liable to pay the customary 10 herd of cattle or alternatively the sum of M150 000 for his wrongful killing.
“Plaintiffs pray for judgment against the defendants, jointly and severally… as follows: Payment of the sum of M2 000 000 damages for loss of support, emotional shock and burial expenses on account of the unlawful killing of plaintiffs’ son and ten herd of cattle or payment of M150 000,” the couple states in their court papers.
Lawsuits against the police have increased since Commissioner Molibeli’s appointment in August 2017. Civilians have lost their lives or suffered serious injuries due to rampant acts of police brutality. Such acts have gone unpunished despite widespread local and international calls for punitive measures against rogue officers.