Pretoria high court has ordered the Minister of Police and the National Prosecuting Authority to pay R6.8 million to a woman who was raped and stabbed repeatedly by a man who was out on bail at the time.
The woman‚ who was a 22-year-old student and a virgin at the time‚ was subjected to a horrific attack by Tsietsi Samuel Msiza.
At the time of the attack in 2011‚ Msiza was out on bail of R1000 and had multiple previous convictions.
The woman instituted damages against the Minister of Police and the National Prosecuting Authority on the basis of the failure by the relevant prosecutors and investigating officers to ensure that Msiza was kept behind bars as he posed a clear threat to the community.
On September 1‚ the parties reached an agreement where the prosecuting authority and the police accepted liability for the woman’s claim.
In his judgment‚ Judge Bill Prinsloo said the woman saw off some visitors at about 11pm on October 26‚ 2011 and escorted them outside leaving the front door open.
She went back into the house‚ had a shower‚ and when she emerged from the bathroom‚ she was confronted by Msiza.
Msiza first attacked her with a knife‚ then dragged her to the bedroom where he raped her and then took several articles which included a laptop computer‚ money and jewelry which he put in a plastic bag and left.
The woman crawled outside and shouted for help where she was found by a fellow resident in the complex who came to her aid.
A plastic and reconstructive surgeon who visited the traumatised woman in the intensive care unit at Montana hospital in Pretoria described 22 knife wounds which he identified and treated.
The wounds were found on the woman’s face as well as her neck‚ left leg‚ right leg‚ left forearm‚ left thumb and right fingers.
There were also bruises and contusions on the right upper leg and buttock area.
In one of the head wounds‚ the metal tip of the knife which was used during the assault was found embedded in the skull bone.
A neurosurgeon had to be called to assist with the removal of this metal segment by drilling away portions of the skull.
Msiza was subsequently arrested and he is still serving a prison sentence.
Two industrial psychologists agreed that the woman would be restricted with regards to potential fields of work and would be reliant on a sympathetic employer.
The amount of R6 830 377‚25 to be paid to the woman include R5.2 million as loss of income‚ R172 549 for past medical expenses‚ R308 633 in future medical expenses and R1.1 million for pain and suffering.
In arriving at the R1.1 million award for pain and suffering and insult‚ Prinsloo said the woman’s life was irretrievably changed forever.
She was the victim of the most horrific attack. She sustained more than 20 serious stab-wounds‚ some of them life threatening.
“The amount of blood that she lost was also life threatening. She spent a considerable period in the Intensive Care Unit.”
He said the young lady was disfigured for life.
“She can no longer compete on the open labour market. She may never be able to get involved in a normal marriage relationship‚” Prinsloo said.