Legal Articles and Guides
The Road Accident Fund says it needs R2bn in the current financial year to meet its obligations, Rapport reports. RAF spokesperson Phumelela Dhlomo said the fund had fallen behind with payments to 4 767 by last week. Outstanding payments amount to R11.37bn and total contingent liability amounts to R206.1bn.
In what a Business Day report says could signal an end to the battle over the country’s National Traffic Information System (eNaTIS)‚ the Constitutional Court yesterday ruled in favour of the Department of Transport. The effect of the judgment, it says, is that‚ essentially‚ the department is not required to pay the R33m claimed by Tasima for services related to eNaTIS that the company claimed to have provided to the department after June 2015.
The state is recommending a jail term for a woman who crashed into an off-duty metro police officer and then drove 1.5km with him stuck on the roof of her car. News24 says Nolwazi Nzimande, daughter of Professor Victor Nzimande, a KZN businessman and academic, was described as a 'selfish person' in the Durban Regional Court.
The technically bankrupt Road Accident Fund, which is propped up by a fuel levy on taxpayers, is renting office chairs at R1 666 per chair per month, notes a Sunday Times report. It says the contract for the rental of 300 chairs at almost R500 000 a month follows a bid to push through an even more audacious five-year, R60m furniture rental contract with the same company. That plan, however, did not go ahead.
The Road Accident Fund Act has been described as ‘social legislation’. Crucially, the Act’s fundamental objective is to provide protection to a wronged party who has suffered loss through the negligence or unlawful act on the part of a driver or owner of a vehicle. Prescription is a rule of law that is designed to bring finality to disputes. Consequently, prescription shuts the door on the claimant effectively disabling them to issue a claim once the time period has lapsed.
The courts are taking a tough stance on drivers involved in fatal car crashes, says a report in The Star. An allegedly drunk motorist is set to go on trial for four counts of murder following the deaths of four children after the car he was driving plunged into them. Lazarus Malatjie also faces charges of reckless and negligent driving and drunk driving.
The proposed withdrawal of the right to sue for damages against those responsible for a car accidents – irrespective of negligence or other wrongful conduct – has drawn opposition from the legal fraternity, notes Business Day. The contentious proposal is in the Road Accident Fund Benefits Scheme Bill.
The proposed traffic law that seeks to take away traffic offenders’ driving licences through a demerit system has been rejected by the Western Cape. A Cape Argus report notes the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Amendment Bill would potentially leave motorists digging deeper in their pockets as losing their licences to a demerit system would render their vehicles useless.
The owner of Alicedale Estate in Musina, Limpopo, is claiming R4.5m in damages from the Minister of Defence after he drove over a spiked metal trap strip laid across a road in April 2015.
Motor vehicle insurance companies can reject car accident claims on the grounds of drunk driving, even if there is no toxicology report to prove it. TimesLIVE reports that insurers can rely on circumstantial evidence, such as witnesses saying the driver smelt of alcohol or acted drunk at the accident scene to substantiate rejecting a claim.
A driver involved in a single motor vehicle accident and who is not an employee of the owner of the insured vehicle is entitled to claim compensation from the Road Accident Fund. A TimesLIVE report notes that the SCA made this determination when it dismissed an appeal by the fund.
A octogenarian North West granny did not stand back yesterday when it came to locking horns with a judge of the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria). According to a report on the IoL site, she wants the judge to personally pay her about R1.2m which she claimed she was entitled to as he allegedly failed to act on her Road Accident Fund (RAF) claim nearly 30 years ago, when he still had his own law firm.
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) has urged accident victims to claim directly from it, rather than turning to lawyers for assistance, says a report in The Mercury. The RAF’s Phumelela Dhlomo said the advantages of claiming directly far outweighed the disadvantages, as claims were processed a lot faster.
In what Norton Rose Fulbright’s Patrick Bracher and Sandra Sithole call a landmark judgment, the Constitutional Court has ‘left the door open’ for the development of the common law to have future damages in personal injury claims paid periodically and by way of services.
A KZN High Court (Durban) judge has found the eThekwini municipality liable for damages suffered by a Port Shepstone woman, who says two metro policemen viciously assaulted her and called her a ‘kaffir’, notes a report in The Mercury. A criminal charge levelled against one of the policemen was subsequently withdrawn due to insufficient evidence. But the woman brought civil action against the municipality and Judge Jacqui Henriques found she had proved her case on a balance of probabilities.