Cape traffic officer loses claim for damages against City
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Cape Town - A City of Cape Town traffic officer who successfully appealed his firing by the municipality has lost his high court plea for damages of over R4 million against the City.
Richard Joseph wanted the City to pay him compensation in damages for allegedly impairing his dignity and defaming him by dismissing him from his job.
Court papers showed that the sum comprised of R56 000 as past loss of two months’ earnings and medical expenses and R4.5 million for general damages for pain and suffering
The damages are alleged to have been “suffered as a direct result of the charges, dismissal and defamation”.
Joseph claimed damages following his dismissal after disciplinary proceedings on a charge related to his failure to provide a doctor’s certificate. However Joseph appealed the dismissal successfully and had it set aside.
Despite this Joseph said that the City impaired his good name and good standing as it was the subject of talk within the Traffic Service Department which thereby impaired his dignity and defamed him.
Ruling in the case Western cape High Court judge, Ashley Binns-Ward, said the particulars of Joseph’s claim were far from a model of clarity.
“It is by no means clear what precisely the nature of the pleaded claims is. The pleading seems to be directed at advancing a claim for malicious prosecution and defamation, but, even that is not certain,” said Judge Binns-Ward.