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Law firm and beneficiary clash over compensation for accident

By unknown | Jan 24, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mphakamiseni Thusini, 31, who was injured in a car accident in 1999, is battling to get his mega-buck compensation from his attorney.

Mphakamiseni Thusini, 31, who was injured in a car accident in 1999, is battling to get his mega-buck compensation from his attorney.

Mphakamiseni said he sustained severe head injuries, which have made him forgetful.

He said his literate brother, Delani, helped him get legal assistance.

Delani approached Jothi Govender to claim compensation from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) on his behalf, Mphakamiseni said.

His claim was settled in March when the RAF was ordered to pay him R701500 in damages and loss of future earnings.

The court ordered that the RAF make the payment in six instalments and it did so in two payments, said Delani.

Mphakamiseni said Govender promised to deposit his compensation into his guardian's fund.

"Though she gives me a monthly allowance of R1000, she has not appointed a caregiver and a social worker as promised," said Mphakamiseni.

In May Govender started depositing the money into Daleni's account.

Delani said he had received R6000, which he had passed on to his brother.

Delani approached Consumer Line last Monday after Govender allegedly told him the RAF had not paid a cent since it was ordered to pay.

However, he had six print-outs that confirmed that the RAF had settled in June.

Govender gave verbal and written comment justifying why she had not paid the compensation to the beneficiary or the Guardian's Trust Fund.

She claimed Delani was unemployed and was not acting in his brother's interests.

He was using the funds for himself.

And, she said, Mphakamiseni was reported to have misused his allowance.

But though she accused Delani of squandering his brother's allowance, she has continued to deposit the money into his account.

"Why would Govender say I abuse the funds when she has no idea how I spend the funds?

"And why did she give me R3000 if I cannot manage it?" asked Mphakamiseni.

"She has withheld my compensation and yet accused my brother of taking my money when I have not even complained," he said.

Govender said: "Delani is frustrated because he cannot control these funds, hence the unfounded, unwarranted and vicious lies and allegations against us."

She said she had never denied that the RAF had paid the amount it was ordered to pay.

Govender, in trying to justify her actions, said Mphakamiseni had no place to stay and was responsible for two wives and three children.

He would not be able to get an RDP house because there was a long waiting list.

She added that Mphakamiseni had not forwarded his list of monthly expenses so she could not decide on the amount to pay for his monthly upkeep.

Govender said she would be accounting to the Master of the high court this month, and that this official would handle Mphakamiseni's affairs.

In an unusual development, after talking freely to Sowetan, she threatened to take steps to protect herself and the law firm.


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