The Mpumalanga health MEC has agreed to pay R950 000 damages to a former street sweeper who has a lame leg after a botched injection in his buttock while being treated for tuberculosis at a state hospital.
In terms of a settlement reached in the High Court in Pretoria, the MEC agreed to pay the amount to former Witbank street sweeper Victor Mabuza as a result of the injuries he sustained when a nurse gave him an injection at the Witbank TB Hospital in May 2009.
Mabuza said in court papers his right leg immediately went lame and he collapsed after the nurse injected him in his buttock.
Despite his complaints that he was in severe pain, he was sent home on a weekend pass, with further tests done by the hospital.
Physiotherapists at the hospital detected a decrease in the muscle strength and decreased sensation in his leg about a month later and referred him to the Witbank hospital for assessment as it was suspected that he had deep vein thrombosis in his leg.
Mabuza eventually consulted a private doctor because of the constant pain and lameness in his leg and was informed that the nerves in his leg had been “corrupted” and that he needed an operation to release the nerve compression.
According to expert reports, the operation did not help much and Mabuza still suffered from severe pain and cramps, had no feeling in his leg and had to use a walking stick because of permanent damage to the sciatic nerve caused by the injection.
Mabuza, who was employed as a grass-cutting tractor driver by the Emalahleni municipality at the time, was off work for nine months and was then given light duty, collecting trash in parks on foot, but was dismissed after six months because he couldn’t cope with the physical demands of standing and walking all day.
A neurologist said in a report the nerve in Mabuza’s leg was most likely damaged in the course of administering the injection.