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Pretoria - A former Ivory Park motor mechanic, who lost his left arm when police opened fire on him and his friends without any reason, received an interim payment of R1.29 million in damages on Monday after reaching a settlement with the police.
Ntantiso Daniel Taliwe, 37, received this amount in respect of past and future loss of income as well as for general damages. The remaining dispute as to how much he should receive regarding future medical costs was postponed indefinitely by the Pretoria High Court.
Taliwe initially claimed a total of more than R10m in damages following his ordeal on August 19, 2004.
The matter never went on trial, as the minister of police, in his official capacity, admitted 100-percent liability.
Taliwe stated in court papers that he was busy working on a vehicle engine with three of his friends on the day of the incident. They suddenly heard shots being fired and his friends ran away. He was shot from behind by the police.
No explanation for the incident was given by the police.
He was assisted by the police who called an ambulance which took him to the Tembisa Hospital.
The bullet entered the left side of his chest, damaging an artery.
He was then transferred to the Steve Biko Academic Hospital and operated on in an attempt to restore circulation to his arm. Taliwe underwent a second operation because of gangrene in the arm and an above-elbow amputation was subsequently performed.
He was self-employed as a mechanic at the time, and he was unable to return to his profession. According to a report by an expert, he would never be able to be a mechanic even if he were to be fitted with a functional prosthesis.
It was stated that he did not have any other qualifications and his disability had rendered his chances of obtaining work in the open market as virtually zero. He tried to find “piece jobs” with his brother in order to put food on the table.
Taliwe said apart from still suffering from pain, he was now disfigured. He also complained about losing his balance when he walked fast or ran, as he lacked the left arm to assist him in balancing.