Dept ordered to pay in birth-defect case - report

2014-12-03 18:21


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Johannesburg - A Johannesburg high court judge has ordered two state lawyers and a doctor to foot half the legal costs in a birth-defect case, The Mercury reported on Wednesday.

Ezekial Matlou, from the state attorney's office, the Gauteng health department's legal administration officer Jabulani Macheke, and medical legal adviser Kgoposi Cele had used the public purse to fund "unjustified and reckless litigation", according to Judge Ronee Robinson.

The amount had not yet been calculated, but was estimated at around R500 000.

Vuyusile Lushaba sued the department for R17m after she gave birth to a quadriplegic cerebral-palsied child at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital 14 years ago.

She, and several experts, blamed the boy's condition on a two-hour delay in giving her an emergency caesarean.

Robinson said Lushaba had been let down not only by the medical staff on duty, but also by the officials who dealt with her claim, who with no legal or medical justification, decided to defend it.

Lushaba was still waiting for compensation.

"I observed Lushaba... carry her 14-year-old son out of court on her back. She did not have a wheelchair in court. During proceedings she had to cradle him in her arms because, paralysed as he is, he could not sit by himself," said Robinson.

"This is symbolic of the destruction wrought by the callous, incompetent, indifference on the part of public officials... Lushaba and her son deserved better.
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  government  |  health

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