IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the matter between:-
LECHESA RANTHIMO Plaintiff
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE 1st Defendant
ATTORNEY GENERAL 2nd Defendant
Coram: Hon. Hlajoane J
Date of Hearing: 19th September, 2013, 28th October, 2013 and 22nd November, 2013.
Date of Judgment: 27th February, 2014.
Claim for damages arising from the unlawful detention of Plaintiff’s taxi – Liability not being denied but quantum – Cash book used for determination of daily takings and getting the average takings. Judgment for Plaintiff with interest and costs.
1. Lesotho Bank v Khabo (2000-2004) LAC 91 at 96
 Plaintiff is claiming an amount of M87, 150.00 as damages from the defendants. The amount claimed is a result of loss in daily takings from his minibus taxi which was seized and detained by the police.
 It is worth mentioning that the question of liability is not in issue. The only issue for determination is the question of quantum of damages. According to the plaintiff his vehicle was detained on the 20th October, 2005 and was kept there in detention until the 27th June, 2006.
 Plaintiff has explained as to how he came to the figure of M87, 150.00 as damages. It has been his case that prior to seizure and detention of his taxi he used to realize an amount of M350.00 a day from the daily operations of his taxi. He has thus multiplied the M350.00 a day by the number of days his taxi was out of business due to its being detained.
 Plaintiff handed in in evidence a record book reflecting the daily taking for the taxi on months prior to its detention. If my calculation is correct from 20th October, 2005 to 27th June, 2006 is eight months and some days.
 In stating the law on the question of damages plaintiff indicated that in delict damages would consist of the difference between the financial position plaintiff would be reduced to by the unlawful conduct complained of and what his financial position would have been, had the unlawful conduct not happened, referring to the case ofLesotho Bank v Khabo.
 Defendants on the other hand showed that though liability has not been denied plaintiff has dismally failed to prove his damages, so that he must be entitled to nothing. They pray for absolution from the instance not dismissal of claim. They showed that their calculations did not give them the average of M350.00 a day as claimed by the plaintiff.
 The Court has looked at the daily takings from the record book exhibited before Court. Looking at the month of September 2005 the Court realized that out of 30 days takings for amounts at M350.00 a day and above came 18 times.
 Looking at the month of October 2005 for the nineteen days prior to detention of the vehicle on the 20th the daily takings for amounts at M350.00 and above is 12 times out of that nineteen. Adding all the takings for the month of October for the 19 days comes to M6551.00. To get the average takings for the month we divide the M6551 by the 19 days and get M345 as the average for the month.
 For the month of September 2005 which has 30 days, from the record book the total takings for the month came to M9818.00. To get the average takings a day for the month we divide M9818 by the 30 days and gives us M327.00 a day. The average for the two months of October and September is M327 + M345 together and divide the total by 2. Which is 327 + 345 = M672. Dividing the M672 by two to get the average we get M336.00.
 To get the cost earning we multiply the M336.00 with the number of days that the taxi was not in business. Which is 11 days for October 2005 to complete the month
30 November 2005
31 December 2005
31 January 2006
28 February 2006
31 March 2006
30 April 2006
31 May 2006
26 days for June 2006
To get the loss of the takings for the 249 days we multiply the number of days found with the average takings for the day of M336.00 which is M336 x 249 = M83,664.00.
 Defendants did not object to the handing in of the record book for the daily takings for the taxi. They only objected to plaintiff having given the M350 a day as the average takings. Looking at the record handed in for the takings, defendants have argued that plaintiff has not made any provision for public holidays, for wages and taxes. That is true. But the Court feels that there was no need to reflect that in the record book as what was recorded were the takings for the day.
 But plaintiff under paragraph 6 of his heads decided to find the average of the total takings from January to 19th October which added up to M80, 234.00. The average daily takings came to M273. Plaintiff in making his calculations took into account daily expenses in operating the vehicle.
 Though plaintiff has calculated the period the vehicle was out of business to six months, my calculations show that it was in fact eight months which is from October 2005 to June 2006. He has submitted that he would settle for M69, 342.00 with 17% interest and costs.
 On the evidence presented before this Court the Court on balance of probabilities finds that indeed the plaintiff lost business as a result of defendants’ officers unlawful acts of detaining his taxi. The record for the daily takings was handed in reflecting the amounts involved and an average was worked out. Plaintiff has settled for a lesser amount from that which the Court sought to work out. The difference being that the Court’s assessment was based on the average of only two months.
 Plaintiff has thus managed to establish his claims and judgment is thus given in the amount of M69, 342.00 with 17% interest and costs of suit.
A. M. HLAJOANE
For Plaintiff: Adv. Mohau KC
For Defendants: Mr Motsieloa
Lesotho Bank v Khabo (2000-2004) LAC 91 at 96
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