Konstatinos Kalafatis has filed a lawsuit against the Botswana Police Service (BPS) demanding P14 million compensation in connection with a shooting incident in 2013 in Gaborone.
The 34-year-old, who is the brother to John Kalafatis who was executed by the Botswana Defence Force members in May 2009, says 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, Kalafatis says he was shot at by plain clothes police officers on the night of December 18, 2013 without any 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 2nd Defendant officials without any lawful and or reasonable basis. This happened whilst a patient at the Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone,” writes his lawyer Lyndon Mothusi.
Mothusi argues that he is still to be charged. He says at the time of the shooting and subsequent arrest and detention, the police officials said they were acting within the scope of their employment. He said while Konstatinos was in hospital he was escorted by armed police officers complemented by their colleagues who were airborne in a police chopper. 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 none 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 arteries from the bullet blast waved,” the papers say.
Konstatinos argues that the attack traumatised him as he was convinced that his life was in danger in view of the 2009 events in which his brother was killed by the state security agents.
He says on the day he was discharged from the hospital, a group of police officers who had come in a BX registered vehicle approached him at the parking lot and ordered him to surrender a laptop and uttered the words, “Re batla parcel, legodu ke wena” in the presence of members of the public. He says the officer went further and said that he will pay with his life if he fails to comply with their demands, like his brother did.
“The said statements diminished the Plaintiff’s esteem as of low or undesirable moral character, dishonest, untruthful in character, and were intended to bring the Plaintiff into contempt or ridicule by members of the public notably on his discharge”. He states that his Isuzu vehicle was impounded. The vehicle was however returned to him in February the following year.
He said the parcel that was sought was an electronic note book/laptop that was said to have been obtained in Botswana and Austria, which he had no knowledge about.
However, AG responded demanding to know how the Plaintiff concluded that his attackers were police officers; their names; and who uttered the words “bring the parcel” among others. The Respondents have also questioned the criteria used to arrive at the amount being sought.
*P5million – for unlawful shooting, unlawful arrest, pain and suffering, unlawful detention by armed officers, pain and suffering
*P3,04,000 – for loss of employment, for period between December 19, 2013, to date of registration of summons
*P2,880,000 – Loss of future earnings from today (33-years-old) to 60 years old which is retirement age
*P3m – Incidentals and medical expenses
*P4m – Defamation of character as a petty thief criminal through the averments and innuendoes of demanding a parcel from Plaintiff
*P1m – Encroachment into Plaintiff’s privacy
*P404,000 – maintenance of minor children until they reach the age of majority with a 10%
escalation per annum.