Pretoria – The Limpopo MEC for Health has been ordered by the High Court in Gauteng, Pretoria, to pay 4.8 million rand in damages to a truck driver who needed surgery.
He is no longer able to work now because doctors at a provincial hospital dragged their feet to operate on him in time after he broke his ankle.
The court had previously said that health authorities were 100% obligated to pay for damages that Edwin Maphosa could prove he had suffered as a result of the doctors’ negligence.
The court heard that he was “unceremoniously” pulled from a truck in which he was a passenger at the time, by police in 2010, during which he broke his ankle.
He was taken to Musina Hospital for treatment and then transferred to Tshilidzini Hospital in Thohoyandou where he was treated for weeks before doctors decided to operate on his ankle.
Medical experts said not operating immediately was extremely negligent as he should have been treated immediately.
His right ankle remained compromised and the joints are now unable to move in any way.
The court said: “It is safe to say that he was mistreated by the authorities.”
Maphosa lives on the Zimbabwean side of Beitbridge and has five children. He is now an informal trader trying to make ends meet.
Although he had little formal training or education, he took over his father’s welding businesses before the accident and employed his brothers. He also drove trucks to generate additional income. The court heard that he was proud to be able to provide a good life for his family.
However, the fact that he now has to walk on crutches and the fact that his other joints have also been affected, he can no longer run his welding business. The court heard that he was struggling to work and was in constant pain.
One of his brothers, out of sympathy, employed Maphosa to make some deliveries – a task he can only do with great difficulty as he has difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time.
Experts testified that as a welder Maphosa had a bleak future due to his stiff ankle and that there was no chance he would drive a truck again.
The court was informed that Maphosa was, however, a resourceful person and with some money he would be able to start a business.
The court ordered that 4.8 million rand would be adequate compensation in this case.
News from Pretoria