Court awards damages for dog attack

Keetmanshoop man to cough up N$50 000

05 July 2021 | Justice

Marc Springer


The High Court has ordered a Keetmanshoop resident to pay damages of N$50 000 to a woman who was attacked and injured by his three dogs nearly seven years ago.

Plaintiff Christina Kapuka had originally claimed N$287 000 from defendant Gabriel Haufiku, saying she suffered "pain, trauma, shock and emotional distress" when she was attacked by his crossbreed dogs on 29 October 2014 at about 21h00 in Tseiblaagte, Keetmanshoop, while on her way to visit her aunt.

She further stated that the attack caused severe lacerations to her legs and not only left permanent scars but also resulted in medical expenses of N$32 000 and a loss of income of N$6 000, which Haufiku was liable to repay her.

Haufiku disputed that his dogs attacked Kapuka and further pleaded that if it was, they were provoked.

He testified that, to his knowledge, his dogs had never attacked anyone before, that they were not aggressive at all and that they would have been unable to escape from his secured premises.

Kapuka said she was attacked by the dogs while opening the gate to her aunt’s erf and that she sustained serious wounds which had to be treated in hospital over the course of several days. She further related that she was traumatised by the incident and still cannot walk long distances or stand for long periods of time as a result of the injuries.

She told the court that at the time of the attack, the fence enclosing Haufiku’s premises was partly lying on the ground and that his dogs could freely move in and out of the yard.

Not the first time

Kapuka’s aunt testified that she had witnessed the dogs running into Haufiku’s yard after the attack. She also said she had seen other people being attacked by the same three dogs on previous occasions.

In a judgement delivered last Friday, Judge Boas Usiku said the amount claimed by Kapuka was "excessive" and that compensation of N$50 000 was reasonable in the circumstances. Attorney Marco Schurz appeared for Kapuka while Kadhila Amoomo acted for Haufiku.