Moru v Attorney General and Another (C o f A (CIV) No 12/2001)

Media Neutral Citation: 
[2002] LSHC 1
Judgment Date: 
1 January, 2002

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C o f A (CIV) No 12/2001


MOEKETSI MORU

v

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND ANOTHER


SUMMARY:


KUMLEBEN, JA

GROSSKOPF, JA

PLEWMAN, JA


The appellant instituted an action against the respondents in December 1988 in which he claimed inter alia an amount of M7,900.00 which the police had wrongfully taken from him. The High Court dismissed this claim in July 1994, but he succeeded on appeal to this Court in June 1996. Nearly two years later the appellant instituted a fresh action against the same respondents claiming a huge sum of money as a loss of profit allegedly caused by the same wrongful taking of the M7,900.00.


When the matter was ripe for hearing and long after the pleadings had been closed the respondents raised prescription as a point of law in a document called Notice to raise Points of Law. The Court a quo upheld the special defence of prescription despite the fact that it was not properly raised by means of a special plea, which would have allowed the appellant a right to reply.


Held on appeal that prescription was not properly raised and that the


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appellant's action should not have been dismissed on that basis.


It was further held on appeal that the appellant's action should nonetheless be dismissed since he was not entitled to claim damages piecemeal. It is a well established rule that a plaintiff cannot claim relief from a defendant for a second time where he relies on the same cause of action