Archive | September 2010

Passenger Claims, are they still limited?

ANELE MVUMVU & 2 OTHERS v THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT & THE ROAD ACCIDENT FUND – CASE NO. 7490/2008

The applicants sought a declaration that s 18(1) and (2) of the Road Accident Fund Act (“the Act”) are inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid to the extent that they limit the claims against the second respondent, the Road Accident Fund (“the Fund”) to a maximum of R25 000.00.

After hearing argument by all parties the court made the following order:

“(1) It is declared that sections 18(1)(a)(i) and 18(1)(b) of the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996, as they stood prior to 1 August 2008, were inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.
(2) It is declared that section 18(2) of the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996, as it stood prior to 1 August 2008, was inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.
(3) Such declarations of invalidity will apply to and govern all claims instituted or to be instituted under the Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996, which at the date of this order:

(a) have not prescribed; and
(b) have not been finally determined by judgments at first instance or on appeal; and
(c) have not been finally determined by settlement duly concluded.

(4) All such claims referred to in para 3 above shall qualify for no greater compensation than that
which would accrue under the provisions of the Road Accident Fund Amendment Act, 19 of 2005, as it stood on 1 August 2008.

(5) This order is referred to the Constitutional Court for confirmation of the order of constitutional invalidity.
(6) The respondents are ordered, jointly and severally, to pay the costs of this application, including the costs of the expert witness…” 

It would seem that the court tried to limit the financial liability of the Fund by way of the remedial order in par 4 of the order hereinabove by subjecting the claims of the passengers to the limitations in the Amendment Act.

Although the purpose of said paragraph is clear same cannot be said for the consequences thereof and the Applicants attorney has already prepared papers to bring an application to the Constitutional Court to have paragraph 4 set aside.

I will keep you updated of future developments.

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Now for some words of wisdom –
Seeking wealth for wealth’s sake is vain and evil.

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