The Citizen reports that the South African minister of police will have to cough up for the damages sustained by a Nelspruit man when he was arrested for no reason, shot with rubber bullets, assaulted and belittled as a “white bastard”
In terms of a settlement agreement in the North Gauteng High Court the minister of police accepted full liability for the damages sustained by Jan Lodewyk Coetzee, 39.
Coetzee is claiming over R870 000 for his ordeal at the hands of the police in February 2011, but the amount that must be paid will only be determined later.
Coetzee said in a statement the incident started when a fellow employee at a towing service parked one of the tow-trucks in front of his house without permission.
After repeatedly asking colleagues to remove the tow-truck, Coetzee and his father-in-law dragged the truck into the garage and locked it up.
When his colleague later arrived to fetch the truck, Coetzee’s father-in-law jokingly said he first had to pay R4 000 for storage, resulting in a huge argument.
Coetzee said he was busy with a birthday braai and wasn’t part of the discussion.
Later that night his boss and colleague arrived with about 12 heavily armed policemen dressed in combat clothing and bulletproof vests.
When the police wanted to force the garage open Coetzee asked if they had a warrant, where upon pepper spray was sprayed into his eyes.
His boss told him he was going to get hurt that night. Two policemen then opened fire on him with shotguns.
They kept on firing at him even when he turned around. They then sprayed pepper spray into his face again before throwing him into the police van, despite the fact that he was bleeding profusely.
At the police station he was hit and kicked by policemen who kept on shouting that he was a “white bastard”.
He was later taken to hospital, where he was handcuffed to his bed and guarded by nine policemen for four days, but no charges were ever laid against him.
Coetzee said he had been shot nine times. Some of the wounds never healed, he couldn’t straighten his left leg and he suffered from chronic headaches.
He battled to sleep, was nervous the whole time and became so aggressive after the incident that his wife insisted he needed counselling. – The Citizen.co.za