Case Law

Case Law

Van Heerden v Road Accident Fund
The plaintiff instituted a claim on behalf of her son who was a minor and had sustained serious injuries due to a motor vehicle collision. The dispute in question revolved around the determination of quantum of damages viz. the minor’s claim in terms of earnings / earning capacity. Evidence was led by an Industrial Psychologist (Mr Moodie) who stipulated that during consultation with the Plaintiff, he expressed a wish that before the accident he had the desire to become an artisan similar to that of his late father. Mr Moodie further testified that the plaintiff would in all probability have completed Grade 12 at his former technical high school and would have further completed a Grade 12 education on par with that of an N3 qualification. The court was satisfied that the Plaintiff had discharged his onus by presenting reliable evidence of an expert nature in proving his loss of earnings/ earning capacity. The court ordered that the Defendant pay the Plaintiff a sum of R 6 485 875,00 The Full case can be read here: http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2018/674.html
Gabuza v Road Accident Fund
The accident happened on 22 March 2012 however the claim was lodged with the Road accident fund (RAF) on 23 March 2015.It was on this basis that the RAF raised a special plea – stipulating that the final date for lodgement was 21 March 2015 and as a result the claim had prescribed. The court had to deal with the following issue: whether the claim in question had in fact prescribed. In terms of the RAF Act, a claim would prescribe if it is not lodged within 3 years from the day on which the claim arouse. Lodgement may be instituted via registered post or hand delivery. In this matter, 21 March 2015 fell on a Saturday therefore lodgment via post was possible on the same day before the post office closed. In terms of case law involving a 5 year period for prescription, it was held that in cases where the 5 years had concluded on a day on which the court was closed thus preventing the issuing and serving of summons, the 5-year period ought to conclude on the next working day. The court held that the same principle should be adopted in this case as it would be in line with the object and purport of the Bill of Rights, as a result the final date for lodgement was in fact 23 March 2015, this being the day the claim was lodged and had therefore not prescribed. The full case can be found here: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2018/634.html
Jacobs v Road Accident Fund
The deceased was a married man who was involved in a motor vehicle collision and thereafter succumbed to his injuries. The deceased was in a relationship with the claimant for several years and had proposed to the claimant, a date to solemnize their union was decided upon by the deceased and the claimant, however this was subject to the finalization of the deceased’s divorce from his wife. While the deceased was married he had moved into the claimant’s home and lived with her and her minor children. The claimant together with her children received continued financial support which was provided by the deceased, the claimant was unemployed and entirely dependant on the deceased throughout their relationship. In deciding upon the matter, the court took into consideration the duo’s plans to marry together with the fact that the claimant and her minor children were voluntarily supported by the deceased throughout his existence. The court further made reference to the equality clause in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, viz. discrimination on account of marital status is expressly prohibited. The court therefore upheld that the claimant was eligible for a claim of loss of support. The full case can be read here : http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAGPPHC/2018/830.html