RAF to pay refugee nearly R4m after accident

2016-11-09 22:18


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Pretoria – A former spaza shop owner who fled South Africa because of xenophobic violence will get almost R4m from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) for a crash in 2011 in which he was injured.

After the accident, which occurred near Rustenburg, Ethiopian Alemanyehu Worku Ali, 36, was unable to carry his supplies and his spaza shop was stripped bare by looters, Netwerk24 reported.

According to a psychological report, Ali decided to flee to Canada "due to his injuries and the xenophobic violence in South Africa". He is currently working in Canada as a caretaker and cleaner.

Adams & Adams and Moloto-Weiss represented Ali in his claim against the RAF in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Jean-Paul Rudd of Adams & Adams said Judge Vivian Tlhapi ruled on Tuesday that the RAF has to pay Ali R3 882 360.

The psychologist who interviewed Ali said according to Ali three of his friends were attacked by locals and only one survived. "They hate us," he said.

Headaches, forgetfulness

He had arrived in South Africa in 2006 to seek political asylum and did not want to return to Ethiopia.

He sold groceries in his spaza shop and blankets, electrical appliances and clothes from door-to-door.

On May 14, 2011, he was driving in Rustenburg. As he entered an intersection where the traffic light was green for him, a taxi ran the red light and drove into him.

He injured his left knee and now suffers from chronic headaches and forgetfulness. Due to his injured knee, he couldn't carry his wares from door-to-door anymore and thieves made off with all his stock during the xenophobic violence.

He had no income and was living on his savings.

Canada granted him refugee status and he now lives and works in Calgary.

The psychological report said his job is very physical and not ideal.

Read more on:    raf  |  ethiopia  |  mahikeng  |  canada  |  xenophobia

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