Labour dept finally agrees to pay slain train driver's family after media exposure

2017-07-07 13:46
The Botha family honour their father at a memorial on the platform at Netreg Station in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

The Botha family honour their father at a memorial on the platform at Netreg Station in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town – The Department of Labour has finally come through for the family of murdered train driver Piet Botha, approving the compensation they were owed 12 months on, with back-pay.

News24 reported this week that Tania Botha, wife of former Metrorail employee Piet, and her family have been struggling financially for a full year since her husband was killed on July 11 last year.

Piet was tragically murdered at Netreg Station while waiting for a train to return to his home in Malmesbury. He had spent the day training a younger colleague.

A claim she had laid with the department's national Compensation Fund had gone on for 12 months with no progress, despite many attempts to have it approved under the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

A customer services director on Friday said he saw News24's article on Wednesday, and stepped in to expedite Tania and her family's claim.

Her claim was approved the next day, director Xola Mnene told News24. He hoped Tania would now find everything in order, and would look on the fund more favourably following the long delay.

Tania will now be eligible to receive 40% of Piet's monthly salary for life, while her youngest daughter is entitled to 20% until she turns 18, as stipulated by the COIDA Act.

They will also receive an accrual of 10 months following the long wait, which they will receive at the next payment run next week.

'I'm just so grateful'

When News24 called a relieved Tania on Thursday, she said she didn't have many words to describe her mood.

"I'm feeling much better!" she exclaimed.

She was simply grateful that her 12-month wait to provide for her family was over, and thanked News24 for telling her story.

She said she was wary of celebrating too soon, and will do so once the claim has arrived in full, but was relieved a promise has now been communicated that it was approved.

Tania had told News24 earlier how she struggled for many months to pay for all of her family's medical and other expenses via cash, on one salary.

They had also been at risk of losing their home, and they no longer had medical aid coverage following Piet's passing.

She only wanted to get things settled, so they could "try and pick up the pieces to put it together again, if at all possible."

WATCH: Botha family light candles during memorial service for slain train driver Piet Botha

That has now been done, and the family can now process their grief free of financial burden, and move on with their lives.

Four people were arrested in connection with Piet's murder, and are awaiting trial in the Western Cape High Court.

Have you had problems with the government's Compensation Fund?

News24 would like to work with the Department of Labour going forward. We would like your feedback on the department's national Compensation Fund.

All employees of government and state-owned enterprises are covered by the national Compensation Fund to assist in cases where they require the settling of occupational claims.

Thus far, over 30 responses have come in of general complaints with the Fund's functioning. Constructive feedback will be beneficial to all to aid the Fund in its administrative role in helping the public.

Let us know your thoughts below:

Read more on:    department of labour  |  metrorail  |  cape town  |  labour  |  good news

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