British businessman Harvey Boulter is fighting to have the Windhoek High Court strike an early blow to an N$84.5 million lawsuit filed against him by the family of his deceased farm manager, whom he is accused of killing in 2021.
Boulter, alongside his company SX Investments One, is being sued by the late Gerhard van Wyk’s widow Alta van Wyk, his son Gerhard van Wyk Jr, daughter Michelle van Wyk, and Van Wyk Jr’s wife, Liani van Wyk, for allegedly intentionally and negligently causing Van Wyk’s death on 27 February 2021.
Through his lawyer Sisa Namandje, Boulter is claiming the particulars of claim filed by the Van Wyk family are flawed from the onset, making it difficult for the court to properly assess the matter.
“The plaintiffs’ respective claims suffer from various material internal contradictions and inconsistencies to the extent that the particulars of claim are untirable as they are not capable of being judicially understood with a degree of certainty when the dispute is to be adjudicated upon,” said Namandje.
Furthermore, the claims for damages are not set out in a manner that will enable them to factually assess the amount claimed. Thus, the exception application must be upheld or the family should be allowed to amend their particulars of claim within 10 days. However, failure to do so must result in their claims being dismissed and subsequently struck from the court’s roll.
In the suit, the family claims they are primarily dependent on Van Wyk’s income that he received as a manager for Boulter’s farm in Outjo. Van Wyk’s widow Alta claims after the death of her husband, Boulter’s company unlawfully terminated her employment as co-manager. She claims her and Van Wyk were each receiving a monthly salary of N$27 500.
Their son Gerhard and his wife Liani were also unlawfully fired from their jobs where they made a combined income of N$25 000 monthly.
Alta wants Boulter and his business to pay her N$49.9 million in total, including N$32.8 million for the loss of her husband’s support and N$16 million in general damages.
Van Wyk Jr is claiming N$22.6 million for loss of support and general damages. While Michelle, who was allegedly dependent on the father financially while attending school at the University of Namibia, wants payment of N$8 million. Liani is claiming compensation of N$3.9 million.
The prosecution is alleging that the businessman shot and killed Van Wyk on 27 April 2021. Van Wyk was shot in the abdomen and died on his way to hospital.
It is alleged that the incident occurred after an altercation during a braai held at the farm. According to witnesses who testified during the bail hearing, Boulter had been the initial aggressor during the incident.
The accused allegedly assaulted Van Wyk’s son after he objected to a remark he had made about his wife and that Van Wyk then came to his son’s assistance before the shooting happened.
However, during the scuffle between Boulter and Van Wyk, a shot went off.
The bullet that injured Van Wyk, also struck Boulter in his left hand.
Boulter has since denied guilt, citing that at the time of the incident, he felt like he was under attack from Van Wyk and his son. He claims the gun went off after Van Wyk grabbed the pistol he was holding against his chest.
He is being prosecuted on counts of murder, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, and handling a firearm while under the influence of intoxicating liquor in connection with the incident.
The hearing for the exception application is scheduled to take place on 19 April before judge Orben Sibeya.