Crash victim threatens to sue ANC MPL

2010-06-30 00:00

ONE of the victims involved in the crash of ANC MPL Lizzie Fikelephi Shabalala’s vehicle last week is in a wheelchair and is threatening a lawsuit since she has become dependent on a caregiver.

Samantha Pavitt (39), a receptionist at Stowell and Company, was severely injured when Shabalala’s black Isuzu KB350 LX came flying through the main door of the law firm’s offices. It demolished the counter and pinned her and her colleague, Lindo Majozi (23), against the wall.

The accident occured after Shabalala’s younger son was allegedly told by his elder brother to park in front of the offices in Pietermaritz Street. They had just dropped Shabalala, who is an ANC deputy chief whip in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, at work.

Majozi sustained cuts and bruises on the neck, forehead, back, left knee and right ankle, but Pavitt is more badly injured.

She has a circle of stitches on her head and the top part of her left ear has been stitched as it was left hanging. She also sustained a cut behind her left ear and right middle finger. She has bruises on her left shoulder and right ankle. She was also injured on both her thighs.

“The counter fell on top of my legs. Doctors removed glass splinters from my bottom,” she said.

Recalling the events of the morning of June 22, Pavitt said they had just finished attending to a client when the accident occurred.

“I was telling Lindo about my dream. Then I saw a van mounting the steps before it stopped. It reversed before it drove straight to us. I remember shouting ‘Lindo, the van is coming into the office’,” said Pavitt.

She passed out. When she came round, the counter was on top of her. “A doctor gave me an injection, then the next thing I knew I was in hospital,” she said.

She said that during her two-day stay at St Anne’s Hospital, none of Shabalala’s family members visited or phoned her.

Now she fears she might not be able to walk again.

“The doctor said I may have to have an operation on my left thigh. I’m going back to hospital on Thursday for an examination,” she said.

Pavitt now depends on a caregiver provided by her employer. But her concern is that she might not be able to take care of her two children, who are nine months and 18 years old.

“Yes, I want to sue for the inconvenience that they put me through. My privacy has been invaded because a person has to bath me. Even though she is a lady I don’t feel comfortable …

“I’m physically and emotionally in pain. I cannot take care of my children. I cannot even sleep at night because it is sore,” she said.

Majozi, who lives in Imbali, said she won’t sue, although she is angry with the driver of the bakkie.

“I remember two men exchanging the driver’s seat. Then I saw the van coming inside the building,” said Majozi.

She said Shabalala visited her at St Anne’s Hospital on the day of the accident and phoned her twice.

“She also sent me SMSes wishing me a speedy recovery. I believe that it was an accident,” she said.

Pavitt’s elder sister, Lisa Sampson, said: “Our lawyer is busy investigating if the driver was not drunk and if he had a licence.”

Shabalala said she tried to visit Pavitt, but she was told that she did not want anyone to see her.

“I even tried to get her mother, who lives in Cape Town, to come and be with her daughter, but she told me that she couldn’t because she is asthmatic.

“I talked to her mother and she understands how I tried to visit her daughter at the hospital,”said Shabalala.

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