Humu in relentless fight for compensation


Four years later, Ofentse Humu, who was attacked and injured by a leopard at Magothwana cattlepost in the outskirts of Mahalapye on April 15, 2018, is still pleading for compensation.

In a matter that was recently being heard before the Court of Appeal (CoA) and later sent back to the High Court, the government was adamant that the Wildlife and National Parks Act does not allow compensation but only offers medical assistance in government hospitals.

However, CoA remitted the matter back to the High Court and instructed the matter to be addressed by a different judge to determine whether the wildlife Act was constitutional or unconstitutional.

They argued that the decision taken was wrong because the judge did not specify if the Act was constitutional or unconstitutional. CoA has instructed the judge who will be addressing this matter to determine whether the wildlife Act was constitutional in denying Humu compensation. Humu was with two other men when the leopard attacked them in a nearby bush.

Narrating to The Monitor what transpired that fateful day, Humu said while the other men managed to escape his legs became as heavy as lead, resulting in the leopard closing in on him. Unable to put any further distance between him and the big cat, he decided to face the feline head-on. He struggled with the ferocious animal, locked in a fight with his bare hands for nearly 40 minutes.

Humu said he grabbed the cat by its forelegs, held them in a vice-grip whilst kicking its abdomen. Humu had a gun but lost it in the attack. Unarmed, he decided to use his hands in a fight for his life. “As we were battling, my head felt like it was being torn apart. Suddenly, blood was running down my face, quickly covering my eyes. That was the time the leopard sank its teeth into my skull and mauled me with its claws ripping my left eye out. I pushed the eye back inside and kicked it (leopard) continuously,” Humu said then.

Humu said he continued fighting it until the leopard gave up and collapsed unconsciously. That is when one of the two men, who had run away, came back and finished the beast off with an axe to its head. The animal had cracked his skull, causing 10 deep lacerations ranging from three centimetre in length and three centimetre in depth. Since then, Humu has been complaining of headaches and dizziness. He, however, tried seeking compensation from the Department of Wildlife but was told that there was no way they could assist him as they only compensate for the loss of life.

Editor's Comment
A step in the right direction

That is indeed a welcome development, especially looking at the fact that the manual way of doing things is slowly disappearing and competency in the use of computers and other digital gadgets has become a must.The simple way of looking at it is just an example that almost all companies have gone completely digital and school leavers will be better placed after leaving school, because they will already be familiar with the use of computers.The...

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