A former resident of Farm Versailles in the Dordabis District won a lawsuit he instituted against a neighbour for false criminal allegations against him.
Erick Willibard Noariseb instituted a lawsuit of N$500 000 against Levis Awiseb through his lawyer Jermaine Muchali for opening a false criminal case against him, which landed him in jail for 71 days before he was granted bail in the amount of N$500.
The charges laid against him by Awiseb entail that he is a thief, slaughters domestic animals at will and that he was going to kill him (Awiseb).
Awiseb deposed a sworn statement to the police to this effect.
This caused the police to open a case against him, and he was summoned to appear in court on 23 October 2020 for a first appearance.
The matter was then postponed to 27 January 2021 when he failed to appear.
A warrant of arrest was issued, and he was arrested and held in pretrial custody for 71 days.
According to Noariseb, the time he spent in custody was difficult emotionally, psychologically and financially. He also had to contend with inmates with contagious diseases, such as Tuberculosis, amongst others.
He further said due to the false, defamatory and perjurious statements by the defendants, he lost his businesses, including a spaza shop, transport business and livestock.
This, he said, was caused by his rejections and ejection from Farm Versailles by the community as a result of the false accusations of Awiseb.
“The defendant destroyed my life, my reputation and my future by falsely accusing me of being a common thief, and that I threatened to assault him. Those false allegations led to a criminal prosecution, which I appeared in court for, but which was eventually withdrawn after a lengthy period due to lack of prima facie evidence,” Noariseb stated.
He further said the false allegations destroyed his business, which has not recovered to date.
In the result, he said, he feels he is entitled to damages of N$500 000 for his dignity and reputation, as the false and derogatory statements by the defendant were understood by the members of the community that he was dishonest, immoral, delinquent and a criminal engaged in unabated criminal activities.
Furthermore, he said, the defendant’s conduct and defamatory statements were published to a large audience residing in the Dordabis area.
He further said being criminally charged in a court of law and especially detention without trial for 71 days affected him deeply.
Windhoek High Court Judge Eileen Rakow granted him damages of N$100 000 and ordered the defendant to pay the cost of the suit.