Police must pay shot man R350 000

The police minister has been ordered to pay an interim amount of R350 000 damages to a former KwaMhlanga bricklayer who was so traumatised after being shot in the stomach and leg by the police that he can no longer work.

The North Gauteng High Court ordered the minister to make the interim payment to the attorneys of Jan Bukhali, who instituted a R5.4 million damages claim for his continuing ordeal after he was shot by police in February 2008.

According to court papers, Bukhali had a fight with his friend, whom he suspected of having an affair with his girlfriend.

He went home to sleep but was woken up by banging on his door. He was only dressed in his underwear and thought he was being robbed. Then an altercation broke out between him and what transpired to be the police.

He was shot in the leg and abdomen and was at first taken to the KwaMhlanga hospital, where there was a delay in diagnosing him. He was only transferred to the Steve Biko Hospital three days later where he had emergency surgery on his bladder and had a colostomy bag fitted.

He was still wearing the colostomy bag when he was discharged from hospital. He was detained at the police station for several months before being granted bail.

He had to go back to hospital twice for more operations and treatment and, according to medical reports, needed even more surgery and treatment.

He appeared in court several times until the case against him was eventually dismissed in 2009. The colostomy bag was only removed in 2011.

Bukhali said he had been unable to work since the incident and had been advised that he was unemployable.

His personal circumstances had taken a turn for the worst since the incident. His relationship with his wife had deteriorated because he did not earn an income, he was unable to provide for his three children and could not visit them often and was forced to stay with his mother, who had to support him and five others.

“I feel that I lost all my dignity and I feel very depressed about my personal circumstances,” he said.

In a report a psychologist said Bukhali suffered from depression, was at risk for suicide and urgently needed psychiatric and psychological treatment.

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