QUESTION: During the athletics competition at Madiba High School, an argument broke out between two teachers, Mr Mabena and Mrs Radebe. Under South African law, you may claim damages only from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) – a parastatal that provides compensation to those injured in accidents on South African roads. The RAF may compensate a victim of an accident for injury, and in the event of death it … Compensation may cover medical expenses, loss of income and, in cases involving serious injuries, general damages for pain and suffering. It is trite that punitive damages in civil law are against public policy and foreign to South African law (Jones v Krok 1995 (1) SA 677 (AD) 696C-H). This provision of the BCEA clearly applies both ways and permits the employer to sue and recover from an employee damages caused by the employee, if the wrongful conduct constitute a breach of the contract of employment. The employee’s compensation claim would besolatium for the humiliation and hurt suffered as a result of the unfair discrimination. In other circumstances, a wrongdoer may be held jointly liable with another person towards the plaintiff (person who claims the damages). Over the last few years, Parliament’s police portfolio committee has frequently raised concerns over the growing number of civil claims against the South African Police Services.Just last year, the Minister of Police was ordered to pay almost R600 000 in damages to … It was adopted in England as well as South Africa, that a juristic person may claim for defamation based on its reputation which is directly linked to its trade and day-to-day business proceedings. If this damage is linked to the road infrastructure that we maintain in the City of Johannesburg you can file a claim for damages. Obviously, the normal principles of common law applicable to claims for damages will apply to such a claim. Furthermore, the Court noted that the conduct of the employer was mala fide and that it acted to undermine the fundamental values underpinning labour relations in South Africa. A person has a right to claim for damages caused by injury or death from the RAF if s/he is a victim of an accident as a result of the wrongful (negligent) driving of another person. By Kate Oosthuizen, Senior Associate in the Litigation Department at Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys In the appeal case of George Magwabeni v Christopher Liomba, 2015, the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) reviewed the judgment of the Limpopo Local Division that found Magwabeni liable for damages for malicious prosecution. Despite having held that numerous constitutional rights had been breached, the court held that the plaintiffs’ claims for constitutional damages would, if allowed, amount to punitive damages. 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