The Road Accident Fund (RAF) is weighing up its options after the Free State High Court (Bloemfontein) found against it in a matter involving disputes over a claim to a qualifying payee.

RAF spokesperson Seripele Maphutha said the fund was studying the ruling which set aside the Road Accident Fund Appeal Tribunal’s decision to reject a claim for damages.

A Cape Times report says the matter dates back to 2015 when Modise Sebokolodi was a passenger in a vehicle which overturned.

He submitted a claim against the RAF but in January 2019 attorneys acting for the RAF rejected the claim in terms of regulation 3(3)(d)(i) on the basis that his injuries were not serious.

Sebokolodi appealed and the RAFs Appeal Tribunal held that the injuries did not meet the 30% ‘whole person impairment’ requirement and that Sebokolodi’s injuries also did not qualify in terms of a narrative test.

Before the High Court, Sebokolodi asked for the setting aside the RAF’s rejection of his claim, and asked that the issue as to whether he sustained a serious injury as contemplated by section 17(1A) of the RAF Act be referred back to the Road Accident Fund Appeals Tribunal.

The High Court noted opinions by three doctors, who found there is no doubt that Sebokolodi’s injuries were serious and there are long-term consequences that he continues to suffer.

‘The decision of the second respondent (RAF) was based on the inaccurate report of Dr Moloto and in the absence of reports from the appropriate experts. In consequence, I find that the decision taken by the second respondent was one that a reasonable decision-maker could not have taken. The application stands to succeed. Costs were only claimed if the matter became opposed,’ the court found.

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