The desperately ill former Springbok rugby player Joost van der Westhuizen says he will probably die if he does not receive a payout from the Attorneys Fidelity Fund urgently.
Van der Westhuizen will approach the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday for an urgent order to enforce an earlier ruling that the fund must pay him R385 665 to compensate him for the money stolen by his erstwhile attorney Robert Klinkenberg, who committed suicide in December last year despite any appeal process.
The fund earlier said in a statement they intended applying for leave to appeal against acting judge Lester Adams’ ruling on September 14 that the fund must compensate Van der Westhuizen, which would have the effect of suspending the judgment.
Van der Westhuizen said in an affidavit the matter was exceptional, as it was literally a life-and-death situation for him.
“I am in dire need for cash funds to finance my medical expenses. Failure to secure funds may very well lead and will probably lead to my death,” he said.
Van der Westhuizen said he owned a 50% share in his house in Dainfern, Johannesburg, which was worth at least R4 million and the fund could institute a claim from his estate if their appeal succeeded.
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The fund earlier said it appreciated the circumstances pertaining to Van der Westhuizen and the public sentiment in his support, but had a duty to ensure that the provisions of the Attorneys Act were applied “consistently and without favour of any particular person”.
The appeal is based on the meaning implied given by the court to the term “particular matter of transaction” as referred to in section 47(5)(a) of the Attorneys Act, which the fund maintains differs from the approach that had been adopted thus far and which was based on judgments in other matters dealt with by the fund.
Van der Westhuizen was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in 2011, and his condition had deteriorated to such an extent that he could only communicate through technology by using his eyes, had to be fed through a tube and was fatally dependent on full-time medical care 24 hours a day.