A retired police man from Ramotswa is suing the state P5million for negligence, pain and suffering he suffered after he was stabbed with a knife on duty sometimes in November 2014.
Tshepo Frank Tlhabaki, 40, a former Sergeant at Francistown’s Kutlwano police station claims that he was stabbed with a long kitchen knife on his back while he was trying to arrest an accused person.
He says at the time of the injury he was acting within the course and scope of his employment with the Botswana Police Service.
“As a result I sustained a severe injury due to the stabbing in the lumbar spine region and my injuries were estimated at 5% permanent partial disability.
“That has resulted on me resigning from the police service on medical grounds following such disability on the grounds that I could no longer perform police duties effectively.
“Since then I did not go to work and only returned to work on the 1st of March 2016 when I requested that my case be registered as I was feeling better and I was told that the matter had been long dealt with on November 2015 at customary court.
The charge was changed from unlawful wounding to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
I required from the investigating officer why it was so and no answer was given, the somber Tlhabaki narrated.
The distraught Tlhabaki said he even asked the station commander who also failed to provide answers too.
“After nine days I requested to be served with a copy of the statement I wrote concerning the case and the station commander for Kutlwano police, Neo Serumola, said they were still looking for the docket which contained my statement and those of four other witnesses.
After receiving the proceedings I realized that the accused had pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm whereas he was charged with unlawful wounding and he claimed he stabbed me with a bottle,” Tlhabaki said and added that everything in his case was altered.
“No finger prints were taken and the matter was tried when I was on sick leave, and on April 2016 I received a letter from the station commander which explained that they could not find the docket.
“I went on to see Assistant Commissioner of the police, Seabe Maboka, who took over the matter and after two months he told me the people he assigned to do the investigations had failed him, said Tlhabaki.
He alleged that he proceeded to the police commissioner’s office in Gaborone and reported the matter to the commissioner’s senior officer’s Senior Superintendent Kgetse who he claims denied him access to see the commissioner saying he was busy.
“It was only this year in February when I was given a report of the investigation on the matter by the station commander after I had laid a complaint to Officer Commanding Nkwebi Chilisa who also told Serumola that the proceedings were maliciously done.
The case is at Francistown High Court before Judge Barnabas Nyamadzabo.
It was heard that during the first mention the defendant did not appear and the matter was set for September this year.
The summons indicates that the plaintiff prays for judgment as follows: Payment in the sum of P2 million for pain, suffering disability, disfigurement and loss of amenities of life.
He is also demanding another P2 million to cover estimated future and present medical treatment and P1million to cover loss of earning capacity.