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Personal Injury

Lawyers work to secure better RAF payout

A young boy who suffered a head injury after being knocked down by a car in November 2006 has been let down by the law after his attorney first accepted a paltry Road Accident Fund settlement and then apparently stole the money. A News24 report says while the fund considers the matter closed, new lawyers are now attempting to make good and reopen the case to secure a better payout for the child.

Police Ministry found liable for stepfather's damages

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 08 August 2017
Criminal Law Litigation Personal Injury Law
Taxpayers will have to pay for the pain inflicted on a Mahikeng man by the police, which started with a complaint by a neighbour that he had assaulted his stepdaughter (3). According to a report on the IoL site, Petrus Tshisi was left with injuries across his body, before he was thrown into a police vehicle and locked up in a cell for a few hours. Tshisi claimed R1.2m in damages from the Police Ministry, saying the incident not only left him with physical scars, but post-traumatic stress disorder as well.

Deputy Minister Manana remains out of jail

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 08 August 2017
Criminal Law Personal Injury Law
Confusion between the police and the NPA over who should make the call to arrest Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana may have kept him out of jail yesterday. A Cape Times report says Manana has admitted to assaulting a young woman, Mandisa Duma, at Cubana Restaurant in Fourways at the weekend. An NPA spokesperson claimed the NPA had not received the docket by 4pm yesterday afternoon.

RAF moves on fraud and illegal claims

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 02 August 2017
Litigation Motor Vehicles Personal Injury Law
Forensic investigators at the RAF handed over 707 cases to the police after discovering fraud caused either by staff or illegal claims made by the SA public in the 2016/17 financial year. A Daily Dispatch report says in the last three months in the Eastern Cape, seven cases have been referred to police from 153 complaints received by the RAF, 109 of which have already been finalised and closed during the period to the value of more than R147m.

Uber seeks ministerial intervention in taxi war

Uber SA has called for an urgent ministerial meeting to address the on-going war between its partner drivers and the traditional metered taxi industry, especially in Gauteng. A Cape Times report says this comes after an Uber driver-partner, Lindelani Mashau, died on Monday after suffering serious burn wounds. Mashau was in his car when it was set alight – allegedly by metered taxi drivers – outside Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria over a month ago.

Move to mediation to cut medico-legal claims

Skyrocketing medico-legal claims threaten to cripple SA’s public and private health sectors as specialists face exorbitant litigation. Without drastic intervention, experts warn, healthcare could soon become unaffordable – or unavailable. Meanwhile, legal experts say mediation could be a solution hiding in plain sight, notes a Bhekisisa report.

Justice at last for victim of police shooting

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 05 July 2017
Criminal Law Litigation Personal Injury Law
More than 11 years after he was shot in the leg by police and then detained for 64 days, during which time he had to have his suppurating leg amputated, a former bricklayer has finally got justice, says a News24 report. Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati, in the KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) ordered the Minister of Police to pay Sinovuyo Godlo almost R7.8m in compensation and to pick up the bill for his legal fees and expert reports.

Gupta-owned Optimum sues small company for R10m

The Gupta-owned company Optimum Coal Mine has issued a summons for R10m against a small company. Optimum alleges Re-Action Consulting, which builds public health clinics, has published false and defamatory statements in court papers, says a GroundUp report. Re-Action is litigating to get Optimum wound up for being unable to pay its debts.

Western Cape government liable for baby's death

The Western Cape government is to blame for the death of a baby at an unregistered daycare centre‚ a judge has found. Five-month-old Ava Barley suffocated after she rolled off a bed at a Cape Town daycare centre in 2010. A report in The Times notes Judge Daniel Dlodlo, of the Western Cape High Court, found that despite its excuses and ‘bald denials’ of responsibility, the Social Development Department was liable to pay damages to her parents‚ Craig and Riette Barley.

Cancer suits could run to millions

The KZN Department of Health faces legal action from state cancer patients running into millions of rands following the recent finding it had violated their rights to care and treatment, says a Sunday Tribune report. ‘We are already seeing a spike in queries following the ruling and are consulting with some clients around this matter. The ruling against the department by the SA Human Rights Commission is precedent-setting even though it is yet to be tested in court,’ lawyer Ahmed Amod said.

The Road Accident Fund

By General News Published on Thursday, 22 June 2017
Litigation Motor Vehicles Personal Injury Law
The Road Accident Fund is a state-supported insurance fund that provides cover to all road users in South Africa in the event of a road accident. If someone is injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident because one of the drivers was negligent, they or their loved ones can lodge a claim with the Road Accident Fund (RAF). This means that even if the driver of the car doesn't have insurance, people injured in the accident (or the loved ones of people killed in the accident) can get money from the fund to help pay medical expenses and to compensate for wages they may have lost as a result of the accident.

Court papers reveal divisions at the RAF

The chairperson of the cash-strapped Road Accident Fund is said to have pushed for a ‘consolation prize’ candidate who ‘lacks technical skill’ to head up the organisation rather than a higher scoring candidate who he felt was ‘too strong’. Chairman Ntuthuko Bhengu is also accused in court papers of making unilateral decisions without input from board members‚ in the latest controversy to rock the beleaguered fund, notes a TimesLIVE report.

Netcare liable for botched eye surgery claim

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 06 June 2017
Litigation Personal Injury Law
Netcare Ltd is being sued for the damages suffered by a patient who was allegedly operated on with non-sterile equipment at the Netcare Pretoria East Hospital. Beeld reports that Susanna Botha (64), a nurse, will be able to push ahead with her R2.6m claim for allegedly botched eye surgery following the the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) ruling. According to court papers, Botha suffered extensive visual impairment.

Another police vicarious liability case at ConCourt

The question of whether the Minister of Police can be held vicariously liable for a reservist in uniform who shot his girlfriend at dinner is to be heard by the Constitutional Court in August, according to a TimesLIVE report. Twice before the court has dealt with police criminality. In 2005 it held that the Minister was vicariously liable for the actions of three on-duty policemen who raped a stranded 20-year-old woman. And in 2011 the Minister was held vicariously liable for damages after the brutal rape of a 13-year-old by a policeman on standby duty.

Severely injured passenger gets R5.4m from RAF

A man who was a passenger in a car crash is to get about R5.4m from the Road Accident Fund, says a Netwerk24 report. Gerhardus Johannes Brits (28) sustained severe brain injuries and several facial fractures when the bakkie crashed into the back of another vehicle and he was thrown through the windscreen. He had claimed R9.2m from the fund.

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