Wait for compensation drags on

2017-12-13 06:00
Marius Loff (43) is still seeking answers as to what happened to their compensation after his father died in a train accident in 1982.Photo: Boipelo Mere

Marius Loff (43) is still seeking answers as to what happened to their compensation after his father died in a train accident in 1982.Photo: Boipelo Mere

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The son of a Spoornet worker who was killed in a train accident in 1982 is still waiting for remuneration from the company for the death of his father.

Marius Loff (43) continues to experience the loss of his father intensely, as he believes the incident led to the death of his mother, Susan, as well.

The family received R300 in their mailbox after the funeral and was promised to be fully compensated at a later stage.

The family claims to have never been involved in the funeral arrangements, as Spoornet made all the arrangements and paid for the burial.

Loff only managed to get a copy of his father’s death certificate in July, 35 years later, after being sent from pillar to post.

Upon following up, he realised that the case had never been registered to the Compensation Fund and that there was no trace of where the money had gone to.

Loff possesses a letter from the company that states the allocation of compensation until he turned 18.

“What is surprising is that there is no record or proof of payment, no lump sum number and no employee pension number registered on the accident or the payout,” says Loff.

According to him, the incident had affected the family to such an extent that he had to quit school at Gr. 9 and find a job, as there was no one to support them.

“I was the only one left with my mother and had to look after her, thus I found a job at a local butchery to support her.

“My mother passed away in 2005 with a broken heart and kept on clinging to each and every piece of infor­mation regarding my father’s death.

“I could not bear to see the sadness on her face as she continued to bring up this subject.

“All we have record of is the burial order and the doctor’s report that dates back to that fateful day.”

According to the doctor’s report, Loff’s father, Hans, had been on duty refilling water bottles when he was hit by a train.

“He was crossing from one rail to the other when a steel locomotive with no lights on appeared from the dark and hit him,” reads the doctor’s report.

The Department of Labour continues to state that it is investigating the case.

It does, however, not promise much in the line of resolution to the case, as it states that the incident had happened during the apartheid era and the relevant legislation only came about in 1993.

Loff is in the possession of valid documentation that supports his story of the administrative struggle he has been having for many years.

In sharing his ordeal, he showed these documents to Express Northern Cape.

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