More lawyers keep victims' payouts

Two attorneys have been accused of unfairly keeping clients' compensation for four months after receiving settlements from the Road Accident Fund.

Zibuseni Khumalo and Moeti Mbambala came forward after reading about Patricia Legobate of Schweizer-Reneke, North West, who was paid the balance of her compensation after Consumer Line stepped in.

Legobate said her attorneys were giving her the run-around after they received her R240000 in November.

Mbambala, of Kagiso on the West Rand, was 24 years old when a bus ran him over, leaving him with a fractured pelvic bone and ruptured urethrae and bladder. He was a student at the University of Venda at the time.

He approached Mokgobi Attorneys who successfully lodged a road accident claim on his behalf.

The father of two said the fund paid him for personal injuries and future loss of earnings. The amount was paid in two instalments of R700000 and R660000 last year. He was expecting the balance, but when he was given the run-around by his attorney he approached the RAF to inquire about his final payment and discovered that the money had been transferred into their trust account in September.

Early this year he approached the RAF offices and discovered that his money has been sitting in the account of his attorney for four months.

He said Mokgobi gave him R100000 and promised to pay R260000 in 14 days, but failed to do so. He said the attorney undertook to take a contingency fee of 25%, but ended up taking more than that.

When paid the first R700000, the attorney only paid him R400000.

Mbambala said the accountant was blamed for the delay.

Khumalo lost his job after he was injured in March 2014 as his employer could not find him alternative work after he was injured.

The father of three walks with a limp after he broke his right thigh when a minibus taxi hit him.

He said his attorney, SSS Mchunu, was paid in November last year and did not inform Khumalo that he was relocating to another office until Khumalo discovered this on his own in January this year.

"The sad thing is that he knows that I'm unemployed and I have three children who are all in school, but he keeps my money," Khumalo said.

Though Mchunu acknowledged receipt of Khumalo's money they have not paid him, Khumalo said.

Sipho Mchunu of SSS Mchunu Attorneys denied they had kept Khumalo's compensation since November last year, but agreed to pay what was due to Khumalo last Friday.

Though Mokgobi Attorneys confirmed receipt of Sowetan's e-mails they did not respond to allegations Mbambala made - and paid his outstanding balance on Friday.

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