A Soshanguve man who claims he lost the use of his left arm because of negligent treatment at Kalafong Hospital can go ahead with his R3.5 million damages claim against the Gauteng health MEC.
The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria yesterday granted an order to Alex Mathosa, condoning the late filing of his claim against the MEC. Mathosa injured his left hand when he fell off a truck while towing cars in December 2014. He was taken to Kalafong Hospital on New Year’s Eve, but was only operated on for the first time a few days later.
He alleged in court papers that doctors at the hospital had performed the incorrect procedure during the first operation and that several further operations to remove damaged tissue and a skin graft were also unsuccessful.
As a result, his arm allegedly became septic, rendering him permanently disabled. Mathosa said he was in a state of shock and spent most of the time indoors as he was in great pain. He only realised he could institute a claim for damages when attending a church service in July 2014 where a fellow member of the congregation advised him to seek legal advice.
His attorneys immediately sent notice of his intention to institute legal proceedings, but by then his claim was already prescribed because it had not been instituted within the legally prescribed period.
Mathosa said he stood to suffer permanent and irreparable harm if he was not allowed to enforce his right to claim for compensation. In court papers, the health MEC admitted that Mathosa had been treated at the hospital, but denied any negligence on the part of any staff member of the hospital and insisted Mathosa had been treated with the required professional expertise, skill, care and diligence.