The affordable education loan option
Cape Town -
Andrew Merryweather, the Camps Bay restaurant manager left paralysed after a violent scuffle, has until next month to say why the Western Cape High Court should not reverse a R10 million judgment granted in his favour.
Judge Andre le Grange ordered on Monday that wheelchair-bound Merryweather and his brother, Nicholas, file answering affidavits – in response to an application by one of their attackers – by November 29.
Oliver Scholtz, one of the men who attacked Merryweather in 2006, brought an application to have an earlier judgment, that he pay Merryweather R10.29m, rescinded.
In an affidavit, Scholtz said he was 18 and in matric at Reddam House College at the time of the incident and that he was not the aggressor.
“I am deeply sorry about (Merryweather’s) injuries and the fact that he is now wheelchair-bound. I wish the incident had never happened. The events of September 9 have also had a harrowing impact on my life,” Scholtz said.
He said he had been living and working in Britain when the judgment was granted against him and there were irregularities with how the summons was served on him.
Scholtz said he would defend the “far-reaching” claims against him on the merits of the case and the amount involved.
“I point out that I am a student and have minimal assets, no income of my own, and that I rely on my parents’ financial support,” Scholtz said in his affidavit.
During the September 9, 2006, attack Merryweather sustained a severe spinal cord injury and was hospitalised.
After an 18-month trial, the Wynberg Regional Court acquitted Scholtz of the attempted murder of Merryweather.
Five others – Joel Thackwray, Liam Hechter, Michael Enslin, Justin Maxwell and Samuel Davidson – were also acquitted.
Thackwray was convicted of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for the attack on Merryweather’s brother. Thackwray was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for four years, but the conviction was set aside in November 2010.
Merryweather instituted the civil action against Scholtz, Hechter and Thackwray in 2009.
He abandoned his case against Hechter and Thackwray, but Scholtz could not be traced. Merryweather’s attorneys obtained a court order allowing them to serve notice of the action via publication in a UK newspaper.
Scholtz was later found liable for Merryweather’s injuries in a default judgment.
Judge Le Grange postponed the application to have the damages judgment rescinded to March 20.