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A Soshanguve man shot by a policeman on duty and left paraplegic has been given the go-ahead by the High Court in Pretoria to file a R5 million damages claim against the minister of police, in his official capacity.
Charles Tumelo Moselakgomo, 27, had asked the court to condone his late filing of the claim relating to the shooting that occurred in 2009.
In papers, he said he had worked as a porter at Medi-Clinic Support Services in Erasmuskloof.
On August 28, 2009, a day on which he was to report for night shift, he was asleep in the room he rented in Soshanguve when he was awakened about 9am by a knock at the door.
Constable Abraham Mokhwebane of the Hartbeespoort police entered his room. Moselakgomo said the policeman fired shots at him for no reason.
A bullet lodged in his spine. He had since been confined to a wheelchair, Moselakgomo said.
“I am for all practical purposes a paraplegic.”
In a letter to the police, Moselakgomo’s attorney demanded R5m in damages, saying the constable had been acting in the scope of his employment as a policeman.
The police objected to the demand as it had not been served on the national commissioner’s office within six months of the incident.
Explaining the delay in informing the commissioner’s office about the claim, Moselakgomo said he had to rely on others for transport.
Also, because of financial constraints, he was unable to afford an attorney or to find one who would take his case on a contingency basis.
Apart from a small pension, he did not have an income, he said.
The constable had been convicted on May 12, 2010 of attempted murder. It was not clear what sentence he had been given, the court heard.
Judge Winston Msimeki accepted Moselakgomo’s explanation and gave him permission to institute his legal proceedings.