KZN loses bid in pothole damages case

2013-05-13 21:47

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Pietermaritzburg - The KwaZulu-Natal administration was refused leave on Monday to appeal against a finding that its failure to repair a large pothole caused a taxi passenger to lose a hand.

The ruling in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg related to a crash on the Greytown-Dundee road in 2004.

A Church of Scotland Hospital chef at Tugela Ferry, Hluphile Elda Zuma, was injured so badly she lost her hand because of the accident.

Zuma claimed R1m but the final amount is to be decided upon later.

In December 2012, Judge Jan Combrink held that the KwaZulu-Natal premier and MEC in charge of transport were liable for the damages claimed by Zuma.

During that trial, evidence was given that the pothole took up nearly half the road and was 20cm to 25cm deep.

It would have cost about R500 to repair.

The accident happened when driver Zanani Langa swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle at the pothole.

A roads department official told the trial the road was adequately maintained. It was argued that the department lacked the money for proper maintenance.

During the trial, Combrink pointed out that the year 2004/5 saw the department spending R700 000 on tarring a road leading past the farm of Sbu Ndebele, a previous Minister of Transport and now of Correctional Services.

That was the year Zuma was injured.

It has not been decided whether the department will petition the judge president for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against the December decision.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  service delivery

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