Motorist has had enough of this bull

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

A Palm Ridge, Ekurhuleni, man has finally won a six-year court battle against a farmer after he knocked down a bull that was in the farmer's care.

On February 9 2002 Ngaka Nhlapo was driving his Toyota Venture on the R26 between Petrus Steyn and Heilbron in the Free State when he came on a small herd of livestock in the care of Hermanus Enslin, owner of the farm Holfontein.

Nhlapo was unable to avoid them and knocked down a young Brahman bull. Nhlapo sued Enslin for R38825 for damages he incurred as a result of the accident.

Nhlapo said: "I am grateful that the case is finally over. People need to be held accountable at all times."

Enslin argued that the animals did not belong to him but he was caring for them.

The case was heard in the Petrus Steyn magistrate's court, which ruled in favour of Nhlapo.

Enslin took the case on appeal to the Bloemfontein High Court, which also ruled in Nhlapo's favour.

The farmer then approached the Supreme Court of Appeal, where it was found that though the bull did not belong to Enslin, he controlled the grazing camp in which the bull had been allowed to roam unsupervised.

The court ruled that Enslin should have had a padlock to secure the gates and was, therefore, negligent.

The appeal was dismissed with costs on May 22 this year.

Nhlapo, who took early retirement in 1998 owing to ill-health, said his lawyers had issued a summons to the farmer's lawyers.

"He says he will send the claim to his insurance company," Nhlapo says. "I am not guaranteed that he will pay me. I think this is a delaying tactic.

"He has been trying to delay this for six years."