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State has to pay its debts - Concourt

By unknown | Jun 04, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

The government's tendency not to pay debts arising from court judgments has been dealt a severe blow after a constitutional court ruling this week.

The government, said the court, took advantage of section 3 of the State Liability Act, which prohibits the execution of an attachment against the state for failing to pay debts arising from judgments.

In a majority decision Judge Tholie Madala found the section unconstitutional.

The matter came to the fore when Dingaan Nyathi sued the Gauteng MEC for health after he suffered a stroke while undergoing treatment at the Pretoria Academic and Kalafong hospitals.

Nyathi, who died last year, demanded R1,4 million after the state conceded negligence.

Nyathi asked the court to order the department to pay him an interim R317700. The Pretoria high court granted the order.

When the MEC failed to comply Nyathi approached the high court for an order declaring section 3 of the State Liability Act unconstitutional and directing the MEC to comply with the interim order. He then went to the constitutional court.


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