Mauled postman faces R40k hospital bill

2013-02-13 08:26

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Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal postman has been handed a R40 000 hospital bill after he was mauled by three boerboels while delivering mail in Newcastle.

Union officials are set to meet representatives from the SA Post Office on Thursday to find a solution to the issue, reported the Daily News.

Mandla Kunene, 42, was admitted to a private hospital after the dogs attacked him earlier this month. He was discharged earlier this week.

Injury on duty form

Nobody from the post office has agreed to sign his injury on duty (IOD) form, which is needed for payment of his medical bills.

Post office spokesperson Johan Kruger said “a way forward” had still to be found for Kunene and wouldn’t comment further.

It emerged that he has been a contract worker for the post office for the past 10 years. Colleagues say they are paid 20 cents per item delivered to a street address - for a salary not exceeding R3 000 a month.

Although the terms of Kunene’s contract have not been confirmed, it is believed that it frees the post office from “any responsibility or liability for any type of risk for loss, damage, injury or death to the contractor’s employees or temporary substitutes or their property whilst rendering the services”.

A labour department spokesperson said an IOD claim should have been submitted by the employer regardless.

Compensation Fund

"In this case the post office would lodge a claim through the IOD application and the Compensation Fund would pay for the medical bills and compensate the worker depending on an assessment of the extent and the nature of the injuries suffered,” she told the Daily News.

Kunene could also submit his own claim form, but would have to prove that the incident happened during working hours.

A Cosatu representative criticised the post office's handling of the incident, saying it should take responsibility as Kunene was on duty when he was injured.

The dogs had been put down since the incident and the owner, Erika Schultz, said she felt horrible “but there’s nothing I can do about the situation”.

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