Court name
High Court
Case number
HC-MD-CIV-ACT-OTH- 1550 of 2019

Hanse v Minister of Justice (HC-MD-CIV-ACT-OTH- 1550 of 2019) [2021] NAHC 178 (22 April 2021);

Media neutral citation
[2021] NAHC 178
Oosthuizen J





Case Title:


Case No:


Division of Court:

High Court, Main Division, SADC

Heard before:

Honourable Justice Herman Oosthuizen

Date of hearing:

25 February 2021

Delivered on:

Order:  19 April 2021

Reasons:  22 April 2021

Neutral citation:  Hanse v Minister of Justice (HC-MD-CIV-ACT-OTH-2019/01550) [2021] NAHCMD 178 (22 April 2021).


Result on merits:  Defendants successful.


The order:


Having heard MR. HANSE (plaintiff)and MS. J. HINDA, for first to sixth defendants and having read the respective heads of argument for HC-MD-CIV-ACT-OTH-2019/01550 and other documents filed of record:




1          The matter is removed from the roll: Case Finalized.


2          Plaintiff did not make out cases against the first and second defendants (but assuming he did), it expired in terms of sections 10 to 12 of the Prescription Act of 1969.


3          Plaintiff's cause(s) of action(assuming he made out such case(s)) against third to sixth defendants, has expired(prescribed) against 3rd to 6th defendants in terms of the Prescription Act, Act 68 of 1969 and in terms of Section 39 of the Police Act, Act 19 of 1990.


4          Seventh and eighth defendants were never served but the effect of sections 10 to 12 of the Prescription Act, Act 68 of 1969, would have been the same, i.e. the claim is extinct by virtue of prescription.


5          Plaintiff is prohibited from instituting any further claims against any of the defendants and any of the Minister responsible for the Namibian Police and/or Correctional Services based on any of the alleged causes in this case.


6          No costs order is made.





1.         Jacobus Hanse (plaintiff) on 8 April 2019 claimed damages against the Minister of Justice, the Prosecutor General, the Maltahohe Station Commander, three members of the Namibian Police Force and two farmers (who assisted with plaintiff's apprehension during November 2008).


2.         Plaintiff's claim was initially set out in an affidavit filed by him on 8 April 2019.


3.         On the same date a summons commencing action was issued.


4.         Plaintiff's claim is for damages resulting from wrongful arrest and detention.  Later on in plaintiffs filings he endeavoured to clarify that his claim is for a brutal assault when he was arrested.  Plaintiff claims that his arrest, detention and the assault upon him happened during November 2008.


5.         Due thereto that the government defendants raised prescription in terms of the Prescription Act, Act 68 of 1969 and in terms of the Police Act, Act 19 of 1990 as part of their exception, the court shall deal therewith.


6.         There is nothing on the case file indicating that 7th and 8th defendant were served with process.  The same legal principles concerning extinction of a debt however applies in terms of the Prescription Act of 1969.


7.         To raise prescription as part of an exception is permissible and shall resort under the ground that no cause of action was disclosed in the claim.


8.         Plaintiff's claim for wrongful arrest and detention was already dealt with under Case No
HC-MD-CIV-ACT-OTH-2017/00235 where the two defendants were the Minister of Safety and Security and the Prosecutor General and it was held, on 19 March 2018, that it prescribed.


9.         The alleged brutal assault, not properly pleaded, in the current action remains to be considered against the grounds of prescription.


10.       Plaintiff's claim against the Minister of Justice, first defendant, and third to sixth defendants arised during November 2008.  Plaintiff never gave the required notice in terms of section 39 of the Police Act and institute action on 8 April 2019.


11.       His claims against 3rd to 6th defendants expired during November 2009 by virtue of the provisions of section 39 of the Police Act of 1990.


12.       Plaintiffs claim against first to sixth defendants prescribed in terms of sections 10 to 12 of the Prescription Act, Act 68 of 1969, in November 2011.


Judge’s signature:

Note to the parties:





Defendant (s)


Mr Hanse (in person)


Ms J. Hinda

(for first to sixth defendants)