A Johannesburg father of eight who faces a life of pain and operations after a student constable mistook him for a robber and shot him three times in the chest and stomach has been awarded more than R3.3 million in damages.
Acting Judge Tanya Brenner last week in the High Court in Pretoria refused a postponement to the minister of police and ordered him to compensate Mbekwa Madondo, 43, for his ongoing ordeal after the trainee constable shot and nearly killed him while he was on his way to deposit money at the Carlton Centre in 2009.
As a part-time taxi driver, Madondo had his licensed firearm with him. He was reaching for his wallet to show the police his licence when the constable, who was doing training for the upcoming World Cup tournament, shot him in the chest.
Madondo collapsed after running into a shop for protection. The policemen dragged him from the shop outside and fired two further shots into his abdomen while he was lying on the floor.
Madondo was then taken to hospital, where he remained under police guard for several days.
He claimed in court papers the police had wrongfully and maliciously set the law in motion against him by falsely accusing him of attempting to shoot the trainee constable.
All charges were later withdrawn against him. The critically injured Madondo was admitted to intensive care with a damaged liver, stomach, bowel and colon, with one of the bullets having narrowly missed his heart.
He had to undergo numerous operations in an attempt to fix the damage but suffered severe complications, including a narrowing of his main windpipe and sepsis in his abdomen.
He has since developed a large hernia, walks with a crippled gait and has difficulty breathing when walking further than 100m.
As a qualified welder, Madondo had dreams of becoming a boilermaker but was subsequently seriously handicapped.
He was a member of the Mzansi Zulu dancing group prior to the incident, but could now only attend meetings as a spectator.
According to medical reports, Madondo is in constant pain and runs the risk of developing thrombosis, further septic wounds and bowel obstructions.
He will most probably have to undergo further major life-threatening operations and his life expectancy has been considerably reduced.
An expert said Madondo had a “near-death” experience and had been permanently crippled.