There is hope yet for Poloko Pule whose life was reduced to that of a vegetable when he was electrocuted after entering a Botswana Power Cooperation (BPC) sub-station left unlocked in Gabane.
This is after a private attorney in Gaborone, Gabriel Kanjabanga took up the case and has determined that justice will be served. Kanjabanga, said that BPC has already responded to his letter in which he demands P7.5 million as compensation for the injuries Pule sustained. BPC had offered a mere P1,500 as compensation.
Kanjabanga said in response to his letter, BPC had told him that the matter has been referred to an insurance company that is engaged to take care of cases of this nature. "A man from the insurance company phoned me yesterday to tell me he was coming from South Africa so that we could meet and discuss the issue," he said.
In the letter Kanjabanga stated that after hospitalisation for eight months, the 18 year old boy could not do anything for himself. "He is unable to bath himself, cannot dress himself and cannot take himself to the toilet," he stated.
"He cannot even eat properly on his own," he continued. He dismissed the P1,500 the company had offered the family as compensation, saying that the boy needs special care and amenities, as he is unable to take care of himself.
"Surely there is no doubt that the money herein given is too small and cannot possibly be any form of compensation," he said.
"We are therefore instructed as we hereby do to demand 7.5 million being damages for the injuries by client and his loss of amenities, permanent disability, pain and suffering, future loss of earnings plus legal costs," the letter read.
Poloko moves by balancing his left arm with his buttocks to heave forward. The right side of his body, especially his leg is so paralysed and stiff that he is unable to walk, Kanjabanga observed. He also argued that the boy cannot engage in playful activities, which young people of his age do, adding that before electrocution the boy was normal and had no physical disability. BPC is expected to pay within seven days or be sued with costs.
Some sympathisers have come forward to assist Poloko, who has since received a wheelchair from one church that requested anonymity. This has come as a huge relief for his grandmother who had to carry him around or push him in a wheelbarrow.
Poloko can now push himself around or have his little nephews, who are undoubtedly happy and excited to help him. "This wheelchair helps a lot because I used to struggle to put him in the wheelbarrow. He is heavy and sometimes he just refused when I tried to lift him into the wheelbarrow," said the old woman yesterday.
"I remember one day I fell trying to lift him into the wheelbarrow. He refused and we both fell down including the wheelbarrow," she added. The Monitor first published Poloko's story last month when the newspaper learnt of the accident.