Putco gave me flowers but I want my hospital bills paid

ACCIDENT SITE: Collins Phahlane was injured in this bus crash on March 2. © Sowetan.
ACCIDENT SITE: Collins Phahlane was injured in this bus crash on March 2. © Sowetan.

Katlego Moeng

Katlego Moeng

A bus commuter involved in a recent accident when two Putco buses collided is fuming because he claims the bus company refuses to pay his hospital bills.

Collins Phahlane said that at around 6.30am on March 2, near Mamelodi, "the unexpected happened, two buses collided at a four-way junction and over 100 commuters were injured".

Ambulances carried the people to various hospitals but "due to the severe injuries I sustained, I was transported to Montana Netcare Hospital where my knee was operated on," said Phahlane.

The following evening, representatives from Putco "visited me carrying a bunch of flowers and wished me a speedy recovery".

Phahlane said that they were unable to assure him that Putco would help foot the hospital bill.

"My medical bills were around R40000 when I was discharged on March 8. It is still accumulating as I often have to go for checkups but Putco is unwilling to pay.

"They send me from pillar to post when I contact them."

Putco spokesperson Raphiri Matsaneng said according to their records the medical costs of "the majority" of passengers' medical costs involved the accident in question were dealt with - at no cost to the patients.

Following Sowetan's inquiry Putco contacted Phahlane.

"The problem might be that Phahlane was initially taken to Mamelodi Hospital but then was taken to Montana Hospital."

He said the Road Accident Fund should pay compensation if Phahlane had lost income.

Phahlane said he would await Putco's reply but has established an e-mail account, putco.victims@gmail.co.za for those bus accident victims experiencing problems over the payment of medical bills.

He said he also intended to go to court if Putco doesn't reimburse him.