News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
26 May 2017
5:04 am

No damages for man shot in argument

Ilse de Lange

The acting judge ruled the shooter had acted in self-defence.

Picture: Thinkstock

A Boksburg man who lost a kidney after being shot in the stomach during a road-rage incident has lost his R1.9 million damages claim against his shooter.

Acting Judge CR Jansen ruled in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday that 51-year-old Andre Schutte, of Boksburg, had acted in self-defence when he shot Jaco Nelson, 32, a dental laboratory technician of Boksburg, during a December 2012 road-rage incident in Benoni and was not liable for his damages.

Nelson and three of his colleagues were returning from a year-end function in their car one evening when Schutte, driving a bakkie, apparently flashed his lights and swerved in front of Nelson, causing a bumper-bashing.

Both stopped and got out of their vehicles and Nelson and his friends hurled verbal abuse at Schutte until he produced his firearm and told them to get back into their car.

Schutte then drove away but an enraged Nelson – whom Jansen said had probably consumed considerably more alcohol that he admitted to – then pursued Schutte, causing a high-speed chase through the streets of Benoni.

When Schutte apparently slammed on his brakes, Nelson smashed into the back of his car. Although Schutte claimed Nelson had simply rammed into his bakkie, the judge said it was more probable that he had slammed on his brakes, knowing there could be an accident and that the car would be no match for his considerably bigger bakkie.

Nelson claimed Schutte then simply got out of his vehicle and coldly shot him from a distance, but Schutte claimed Nelson was extremely aggressive and jumped on him, whereafter he fired a shot in self-defence.

Jansen said Schutte probably thought he could again settle things down by pointing his firearm.

The judge said it was clear that Nelson was in a state of complete rage when he attacked Schutte with his bare hands and that Schutte was in serious danger, had no time to fire a warning shot and had lawfully shot Nelson in self-defence.

Although Nelson’s claim was dismissed, the judge made an order in respect of costs, saying Schutte had overreacted and should have defused the situation instead of escalating it.

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