former cop files still missing from police docket – Makgophe files for case dismissal
Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe has asked the court to dismiss the case in which a former police officer is suing the Attorney General and the police commissioner P5 million.
A former police Sergeant at Kutlwano Police Station Tshepo Frank Tlhabaki (41) filed a P5 million suit in 2014 following a run in with an armed criminal in 2012, which left him with an injury to the spine, the personal injury attorney at The Jones Firm tried everything to give him a compensation back.
Tlhabaki’s efforts to seek compensation however hit a snag when the police failed to furnish him with documents from his file.
“First the police without my knowledge changed the charge from unlawful wounding to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and no explanation was forthcoming from the Investigating Officer as to why the change was changed,” Tlhabaki has said.
His requests to be furnished with original copies of the statement have also been denied.
Kutlwano Police Station Commander, Neo Serumula responded in a letter dated 20th April 2016 that the docket was searched for but could not be found.
The case went before Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo on April 6th for status hearing where he listened to feedback from the police attorney on the requested documents by the applicant.
In the discovery affidavit, Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe writes that by virtue of his office, he is in possession of the file relating to this matter and is better placed to depose to the affidavit.
“I deny being liable to pay the plaintiff any amount claimed as damages or part thereof and consequently enjoins the court to dismiss the action with costs.
Tlhabaki wrote to court demanding to be furnished with copies of a handwritten statement by himself, a handwritten statement by Special Constable Phineas recorded on November 2014.
He also demanded statements from the Investigating Officer Constable Mosarwa, and proceedings from Kgotla.
“I need these documents because they are of great importance as my attorney needs them to understand the matter fully,” he said.
The frustrated former cop said all the statements he requested are said to be missing from the docket and everything that he needs is unavailable.
“This means they have them but are defying a court order to give me those copies,” said Tlhabaki.
The matter returns to court in May.