Boulter demands security for costs in civil case
Family wants millions for pain and suffering
The family claimed the amount requested by Boulter as security for costs is an attempt to prevent them being heard by the court, and violates their constitutional rights.In a civil case in which a family is demanding millions from British billionaire Harvey Boulter, he has applied for security for costs from each claimant.
This after the family of the late Gerhard van Wyk - who was allegedly shot and killed by Boulter – dragged the billionaire to court for pain and suffering. Boulter is also standing trial for Van Wyk’s murder, which took place on his farm on 27 February 2021, in a criminal case.
Last year, Van Wyk's wife, two children and daughter-in-law, who was working as a manager on the farm at the time of his murder, filed a civil case against the Brit, claiming a total of around N$84.5 million in damages. Boulter then, at the end of last year, submitted an application that each claimant must pay between N$300 000 and N$350 000 as security.
Security for costs
The purpose of an application for an order of security for costs is to give the defendant in a lawsuit peace of mind by forcing the plaintiff to pay a fixed amount to the court. These cost orders serve as protection for defendants with a legitimate concern that a claimant will not be able to cover their legal costs if their application fails.
The Van Wyk family has disputed the liability to pay these costs. "The amount requested by the defendant was brought in an attempt to prevent the plaintiff from being heard by this court and violates their constitutional rights," the Van Wyk family claimed.
Meanwhile, the case has been put on ice for three months because the Van Wyk family's lawyer is on maternity leave. On Tuesday, the matter was adjourned in the Windhoek High Court until 19 April.
The postponement follows after parties met for court-facilitated mediation on 6 September 2022. This mediation was unsuccessful. The proceedings in April will deal with the issue of providing security for costs. The criminal case against Boulter is still in a pre-trial phase, and he is currently out on bail.
In court documents, the deceased's wife Alta, son Gerhard Jr, daughter Michelle and daughter-in-law Liani claimed that they witnessed the fatal shooting incident. "The first defendant [Boulter] attacked the second plaintiff [Gerhard Jr.] and it turned into a wrestling match. The deceased tried to stop [Boulter], after which he took out his firearm and shot him."
The deceased died of his injuries on the way to the hospital, which is 200 kilometres away. Alta claimed about N$50 million, including about N$33 million for loss of support; N$16 million for general damages, loss of income and a release from her employment contract; a payment of N$137 500; N$1 million for unbearable living conditions after the incident, and N$24 500 for transport costs and funeral expenses. Gerhard Jr. is demanding a total of N$22.7 million for general damages, loss of support and unbearable living conditions after the incident. Michelle wants N$8 million, while Liani has demanded N$3.9 million for the same reasons.
According to the claim, the general compensation represents the emotional trauma, shock, pain and suffering the family had to endure when they witnessed the deceased being shot and their efforts to save his life.
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