My wife got mugged at her apartment in a...

Asked by Patrick Mavuso on 17-05-2023 20:52:13
Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Gauteng

My wife got mugged at her apartment in a access controlled complex. Which I believe was due to gross negligent from the complex security - they allowed a stranger to get into the complex, who then mugged my wife. The contract indemnifies the landlord from burglary in the apartment. But I want the complex to compensate us for the phone and trauma caused. Its been morethan 5 days since the incident. They havent given us any update or video footage of the incindent. 

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 18-05-2023 10:41:41

Hi there and thank you for your question,

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Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 18-05-2023 10:48:09

I think that you're going to find it difficult to get the video footage from the security company because (i) it might show that they were negligent; (ii) the footage does not belong to you, so they don't need to give it to you; (iii) giving you the footage might be a breach of another resident's privacy in that you can see them coming/going.

The only way that you will get the footage is through criminal charges laid against the mugger (then the SAPS will be able to get the footage) or if you sue the security company (then you can get the footage through the law suit).

I think that your contract is correct in indemnifying the landlord. It wasn't his fault.

I think that your claim lies against the security company for gross negligence.  You'll need to send them a letter of demand setting out the damages that your wife has sustained, and calling upon them to pay the damages. Possibly you could also claim any loses that your wife has, e.g. stolen handbag, phone, etc. 

I don't know if you will be able to hold the body corporate liable for the damages, because they didn't cause the harm. It was the security company. So your claim will definitely lie against the security company. 

You'll need to send the letter of demand, and then issue a summons out of the magistrates court, and the demand (through the discovery process) a copy of the footage. It will then be at trial that you will need to cross examine the security guards in order to  prove that they were negligent in their actions. 

You will then draw the link between the gross negligence, and your wife's losses. 

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