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Johannesburg - An argument over setting off firecrackers during the Diwali celebrations will cost a Heidelberg man R125 000 in damages.
This is after he first attacked his neighbour with a sjambok and later shot the man in the thigh.
Morné Troskie was unhappy with the noise emanating from his neighbour across the road, where he was celebrating Diwali.
Troskie went to the home of Sanjay Dookhi and told him in no uncertain terms how he felt about the noise, the Pretoria High Court heard.
An argument ensued, resulting in Troskie at first sjambokking Dookhi, who is a policeman.
Later, Troskie shot his neighbour.
Dookhi instituted a damages claim against Troskie for the pain and humiliation he said he had suffered at the hands of Troskie.
The court had ruled earlier that Troskie was liable for Dookhi’s damages, but now ruled that he had to pay R125 000 in damages.
The problems started on November 9, 2007, when some neighbours complained about the noise caused by the firecrackers being set off at Dookhi’s home. The police intervened.
This was on the eve of Diwali - a Hindu festival to usher in the new season at the end of the monsoon. As part of the celebrations, firecrackers are lit.
A very unhappy Troskie marched over to Dookhi’s house the next evening, while the latter, his family and friends were continuing with their celebrations.
The two men argued, which resulted in Troskie hitting Dookhi with a sjambok in front of his guests, before running back to his house.
Troskie told his wife to call the police and the armed response company, and fetched his firearm. He then went outside.
Also armed, Dookhi who was extremely upset and humiliated by the hiding he had received at the hands of his neighbour, turned up at Troskie’s home.
Dookhi claimed to have hidden behind a wall near his neighbour’s gate, when Troskie fired a series of shots, one of which struck Dookhi in the thigh.
But Troskie told the court that Dookhi had threatened to shoot him after the sjambokking.
Afraid that the latter was going to make good of his threat, Troskie went to fetch his gun.
Troskie said he had seen Dookhi standing out in the open, in front of his (Troskie’s) gate and that he had raised his hand, while holding the gun.
Troskie said he had fired as he felt threatened.
Judge Tatu Makgoka found that Dookhi had lied when he said he had hidden behind a wall, as bloodstains were found at the gate and not behind the wall.
But the judge said while Troskie might at first have felt threatened when his neighbour said he was going to shoot him, this danger had subsided once he was in his own home.
The judge said Troskie should have remained indoors, as the police and armed response were on their way.
“Troskie had seen his neighbour in front of the gate and for Dookhi to pose a threat, the latter had to break into Troskie’s home, which he did not do. Why venture into harm’s way?”
The judge found that Troskie had no right to shoot his neighbour and ordered him to pay damages to Dookhi.