Gauteng health ordered to pay damages

2013-06-27 13:24


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The Gauteng health department has until 13 July to pay an interim negligence claim to a woman whose leg was amputated, or the sheriff of the court will seize its assets, her lawyer said on Thursday.

"In every single case I have had against the State, I have to resort to these measures. Never once have they paid on a court order," said attorney Gary Austin.

He confirmed a report in The Times that the sheriff of the court attached the assets of the province's health department after it ignored an April court order to pay R750 000 to medical negligence victim Queen Mpinga.

The claim related to treatment at the Natalspruit and Pholosong hospitals in 2006.

On 13 June, the sheriff catalogued 400 computers, 600 desks, and 800 chairs at the department's head office.

In terms of the State Liability Act, it can seize the items on 13 July, if the department does not pay Mpinga by then.

Ankle wound

Austin told Sapa that Mpinga went to hospital with a small wound on her ankle.

When she returned at a later date, instead of being admitted, she was sent home with advice like "put Betadine on it".

Negligence had already been established by the South Gauteng High Court, said Austin.

An interim payment was usually made because such cases took a long time to finalise. The court was expected to rule on the final amount in October.

Austin said poor administration was to blame for the payment delay.

"You shouldn't have to resort to these measures. Morally, you should pay the money straight away."

Mpinga needed the money for a prosthesis and for ongoing medical care.


However, health department spokesperson Chris Maxon said the department had to wait for the paperwork to come from the court. It was only received in June, and the payment then had to be processed.

"On our side everything has been approved. It's a matter of days," said Maxon.

"She will definitely be paid by then [July 13]."

He said the department was concerned about the slow pace at which cases were settled.

Civil claims took on average years to settle and put people in "a lot of pain".

The department was restructuring its processing centre.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson Jack Bloom described the delay as "shameful".

"The department has a bad history of late payments for court orders. It should respect the court and pay promptly, as Mpinga needs the money urgently," he said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  health

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.