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Kalafatis’ wife joins P14 million lawsuit

INNOCENT SELATLHWA
Kosta Kalafatis
In a new twist, the wife of Konstantinos Kosta Kalafatis, Marang Kalafatis has been cited as the second plaintiff in a case in which her husband is demanding P14 million for unlawful shooting.

Konstatinos Kalafatis had initially filed a lawsuit against the Botswana Police Service (BPS) demanding P14 million compensation in connection with a shooting incident in 2013.

The 34-year-old, who is the brother to John Kalafatis, who was executed by the Botswana Defence Force members in May 2009, said his attackers were plain clothes Botswana police officers. The matter is before Lobatse High Court Justice Jennifer Dube, and the first and second respondents are the Attorney General and the Commissioner of BPS respectively.

In his court papers, Konstantinos Kalafatis, otherwise generally known Kosta, said he was shot at by plain clothes police officers on the night of December 18, 2013 without warning of an arrest. “The plaintiff was without any lawful excuse, and without any form of resistance shot at three times and subsequently arrested by continuous armed escort, by the second defendant officials without any lawful and/or reasonable basis.

This happened whilst a patient at the Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone,” wrote his lawyer Lyndon Mothusi in the amended documents. Mothusi argued that Kosta is still to be charged. He said at the time of the shooting and subsequent arrest and detention, the police officers said they were acting within the scope of their employment.  He said while Kosta was in hospital, he was escorted by armed police officers complemented by their colleagues who were airborne in a police helicopter.

He says he suffered life-threatening injuries and loss of income, which he generated as an auto-electrician. “As a direct consequence of the unlawful and wrongful injuries sustained by plaintiff, his arrest and detention, he has been out of employment due to positive non-performance because of a depleted health condition on the bullet which sat 2mm from injuring the spinal cord, and a cart scan was run to ensure no captured main blood and heart artery from the bullet blast waved,” the papers say.

“As a result of the said ordeal, Marang can no longer sleep well at night and has frequent nightmares of the said event. Not to mention that she can no longer sleep alone in a

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room, nor can she sleep with the lights off, which was her preferred way of sleep, as she often has fear of the event reccurring. Marang mostly fears that the police will make another attempt on her, and God forbid, her husband’s life, and be successful,” read the amendment to the original summons filed by Mothusi.

Mothusi further stated that his client had been stigmatised and also believed she had been singled out by the police and all her attempts at redeeming her financial status have not proved fruitful as she has been refused a grant by the social welfare department. “Moreover, since Marang is unemployed she had before the unfortunate, but deliberately caused incident, been completely reliant on her then partner, and now husband, to provide for her.

Marang had become accustomed to receiving the amount of P2,500 from him as a form of  a stipend.” Mothusi further stated that since the shooting, Kosta is now unable to neither seek nor find employment as he has been left disabled and as a direct and proximate result, Marang Kalafatis is no longer able to receive any amount from him as support.

The Kalafatis want the government to pay P14,286,200. The demands are for unlawful shooting, unlawful arrest, pain and suffering, unlawful detention by armed officers, pain and suffering; loss of employment, for period between December 19, 2013, to the date of registration of summons; loss of future earnings from today (33-years-old) to 60-years-old which is retirement age; incidental and medical expenses; encroachment into plaintiff’s privacy; maintenance of minor children until they reach the age of majority with a 10% escalation.

With addition of Marang Kalafatis to the court papers also came additional demands for loss of support, emotional/ psychological pain and stress in the amount of P5,000,000. They also want the police to return the original key of the Isuzu motor vehicle and interdicting of the police on encroaching on their right to privacy, as constitutionally enshrined. The money replaces P5 million sought for defamation by Kosta Kalafatis in his initial papers.

 



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