A mother who gave birth to a premature baby because unskilled nursing staff and doctors were on duty on Christmas Day seven years ago will receive R17m, says a report in The Star. The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) ordered the office of the Gauteng MEC for Health to pay the money to little Hope’s mother, Janet Anderson.

Hope was born a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.

The money, which will be kept in a trust account, will be used to make life a little easier for Hope, who is now seven.

It is stated in court papers that Hope will never be able to take care of herself for the rest of her life. She cannot walk, talk or eat by herself. She has to eat soft food, which she is barely able to swallow.

Her condition is ascribed to the negligence of the nursing staff at Leratong Hospital in Krugersdorp. It was claimed they never bothered to monitor the foetus or the mother before birth. There was also no after-birth care.

Full report in The Star (subscription needed)