The legal options available to the financially stressed Road Accident Fund (RAF) appear to be dwindling. This follows the latest developments in the contempt of court application launched by Discovery Health that was served on the RAF and its CEO, Collins Letsoalo, on 9 November.

Moneyweb reports that Discovery Health launched the urgent contempt of court application because of the alleged failure of the RAF to implement a previous court order related to the payment of the past medical expenses of fund claimants.

The contempt of court application is being opposed by the RAF and Letsoalo. They have argued that the RAF should not be liable for past medical expenses where the injured person is a medical scheme member.

However, the RAF has been unsuccessful in convincing the courts to accept this argument.

Discovery Health CEO Dr Ron Whelan on Monday said the RAF has to date not resumed payments of valid claims to medical scheme members despite the clear position of the courts declaring unlawful the RAF’s directive to halt payments of medical scheme members’ valid claims. 

He said this position adopted by the RAF is believed to be in direct breach of the High Court ruling enforced by the SCA and the Constitutional Court.

Moneyweb notes that this is a reference to a judgment handed down on 27 October 2022 by Judge Mandla Mbongwe, which declared unlawful the RAF directive issued on 12 August 2022 and the RAF unsuccessfully applying to both the SCA and Constitutional Court for leave to appeal this judgment.

Whelan added that given the RAF’s ‘concerning conduct’ in this regard, Discovery Health is left with no alternative but to resort to seeking an order declaring the RAF and its CEO in contempt of court.

He said Discovery Health is currently awaiting a confirmed date for the full Bench hearing.

Full Moneyweb report