Cyclist loses case, must pay

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

A KwaZulu-Natal cyclist will have to fork out the costs associated with his legal battle against transport, community safety and liaison MEC Bheki Cele and Premier S'bu Ndebele.

On Friday, the Pietermaritzburg high court ruled in favour of Cele and Ndebele against a claim by Allister McIntosh.

In August, McIntosh injured himself while cycling with a group of friends when he hit a pothole on the P164 near Kamberg in the Midlands region. He sued Ndebele and Cele for more than R7million.

He said the transport department had a duty to maintain the road and ensure that it is "pothole free".

The department argued that as much as it is its duty to maintain provincial roads, this had to be done within available resources and a limited budget and prioritisation of its maintenance and construction of road network programmes.

The court agreed with the department and dismissed the claim with costs.

Cele said the department was in the process of recovering the costs because it believes the claim was "malicious".

He said: "The department wishes to encourage all stakeholders, public and private sector organisations to fight matters within the parameters of the law to avoid unforeseen circumstances where people take the law into their own hands.

"Nobody is above the law, therefore, if the rule of law dictates, citizens shall obey. I'm grateful that the R7million will be spent accordingly by the department to improve the lives of the poor, particularly for the upliftment of rural communities who lack access to basics services," Cele said.