Road Accident Fund ‘payout criteria is sexist’

2014-12-20 13:37

A High Court judge has criticised the criteria used to determine Road Accident Fund (RAF) payout amounts for widows.

“Perhaps the time has come to jettison these patently sexist, insensitive and baseless criteria,” said acting Judge JL Manamela in handing down his ruling in the North Gauteng High Court.

The Saturday Star reported that the judgment is related to a case in which a widow, aged 37, had claimed damages from the RAF, following a motorcycle accident in 2011, in which her husband, Robin had died.

The couple had one child and Robin Robinson had been the sole breadwinner in the family.

The court had been hearing evidence from experts who had calculated what the widow had lost financially, following her husband’s death.

The criteria used to calculate this had included taking into account what her prospects were of getting re-married – including looking at her age and whether she would enter a new marriage with children from her previous relationship.

Robinson’s lawyers argued that this criteria was unconstitutional and in his ruling, the judge agreed.

“We may have to develop new forms of assessment, which are not gender-based and would be alive to our constitution and human rights,” said Manamela, in ordering the RAF to pay out R5.2 million.

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