Minister wants R8m in damages from cops
A Limpopo minister is demanding R8million in compensation from the Minister of Safety and Security for injuries he sustained.
He was allegedly shot by police who mistook him for the criminal Ananias Mathe.
Reverend Motlotlo Rabotapi of the AME Church in Jane Furse said yesterday he suffered pain and humiliation following the incident on November 20 2006.
Rabotapi, 42, was working in Madiidi village near Mabopane at the time. He said he was returning from a church service carrying a bag when he was approached by two men.
They pointed firearms at him and ordered him to stop. He said he ran for his life thinking the men were thugs who wanted to rob him.
While fleeing, one of the men fired a shot which hit him in his right leg.
He fell down and was suddenly surrounded by a number of police vehicles.
It was then that the two men identified themselves as police officers.
"I could not believe it when they told me I was Ananias Mathe, the fugitive they had been looking for," said Rabotapi.
Mathe, a Mozambican national, was at the time being sought in connection with his escape from the Pretoria C-Max Prison where he was being held on more than 50 charges, including rape and armed robbery.
Rabotapi said he tried to convince the cops that he was not Mathe but they would not listen.
"It was only after a member of my congregation arrived and told them I was his minister that they became convinced," he said.
The policemen left without "bothering to take him to hospital".
"They called an ambulance but it arrived two hours after they had left," Rabotapi said.
He was taken to Odi Hospital in Mabopane where he spent a week undergoing treatment.
"All the letters I wrote to the police were ignored and I've now taken up the matter with my lawyers in Cape Town to sue the department for R8million."
Efforts to reach the department's national spokesman, Hangwani Mulaudzi, for comment were unsuccessful.