KZN loses pothole appeal

2013-05-14 13:30

The kwaZulu-Natal administration has been refused leave to appeal against a finding that its failure to repair a large pothole caused a taxi passenger to lose a hand.

The ruling in the Pietermaritzburg High Court related to a crash on the Greytown-Dundee road in 2004.

Hluphile Elda Zuma, a former hospital chef, lost a hand after a crash. Zuma claimed R1-million but the final amount will be decided later in 2013. The crash occurred when driver Zanani Langa swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle near a pothole.


In December 2012, judge Jan Combrink said the kwaZulu-Natal premier and the MEC in charge of transport were liable for the damages claimed by Zuma. He blamed the roads department for failing to repair a pothole in the road; the hole was 9m long, 2.5m wide and as much as 25cm deep which contributed to the crash.

The driver of her minibus testified that he drove on the wrong side of the road to try to avoid the pothole but was forced to swerve into it when a vehicle approached from the opposite direction at high speed.

The pothole would have cost R500 to repair.

A roads department official said the trial the road was adequately maintained. It was argued that the department lacked the funding for proper maintenance.

During the trial, the judge pointed out that the year 2004/5 saw the department spend R700 000 on tarring a road leading past the farm of S'bu Ndebele, a previous minister of transport and now of correctional services.


  • Vaughan - 2013-05-14 14:17

    An example of how corruption is affecting ordinary South Africans.

  • jeremy thorpe - 2013-05-14 14:48

    Sounds like a just and good verdict. But what about the cost of fixing the two vehicles which collided as a result of the pothole? Still, let's hope this verdict sets a precedent - and many more people sue provincial governments for damage caused by inadequate road maintenance.....

  • Kwashirai Chigodora - 2013-05-14 15:43

    only when municipal authorities know there will be dire consequences that directly affect them will they get things fixed when they should... it should also affect the individual who didnt do his job negatively.

  • Regte Boer - 2013-05-14 15:47

    And the province is under....., wait for it.....ANC administration!

  • Andrew K Arnesen - 2013-05-14 18:46

    It is outrageous that they would even appeal that decision- when are our officials going to realise that they bear the responsibility for these things?

      Skhumbuzo Khumalo - 2013-05-14 19:59

      The only reason they are appealing is to avoid a precedent being set coz they know 000's of people will come fwd to claim. some tyres are R5000 each, factor in cost of OEM damper, then wheel alignment, cost of new rim and labour. whereas fixing roads is easiest thing to do. Mpumalanga though is worst province wen it comes to roads.

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