Constitutional Court Application: Access to Court
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Gert Nel Inc. has filed an application with the Constitutional Court to rule on whether practice directives are in fact denying road crash victims the right to access to Court and a speedy resolution of their matters.
These directives have caused delays and, in some instances, claimants have had to wait for years for their cases to be resolved. The backlog in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria is so severe that new cases will not be able to receive a trial date until 2026.
Meanwhile, those who have made claims and are in dire need must wait for their cases to be addressed. If the problem is not addressed, the high court will become completely overwhelmed. Gert Nel of Gert Nel Inc Attorneys stated that the practice directives constitute a systematic violation of claimants’ Constitutional rights to have their matters dealt with by the court.
You can read the court application and related news stories here, or jump to the latest update from the court.
Written by Zelda Venter | Published in Weekend Pretoria News on 24 June 2023 WHILE the legal fraternity describe the claims process as chaos, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) says order had been restored. The lawyers camped outside Sammy Marks Square for two days this week to try to get a spot to settle RAF claims on behalf of their clients. Attorneys are so upset about the fact there was no structure to the process of block settlements to which they were invited by the RAF, that the Pretoria Attorneys’ Association asked the Legal Practice Council to intervene in the “unfortunate situation”. In a letter sent to the Legal Practice Council, the association said it had taken note, “with utter dismay, of the indignation that members of the legal profession have had to suffer at the hands of the staff of the RAF this past week”. Attorneys camped out in
Law Society Accuses RAF of Unfair Treatment As Lawyers Stand in Long Queues to Try to Settle Clients’ Cases
Written by Lerato Mutsila | Published on 21 June 2023 The Law Society of South Africa has expressed concern about the Road Accident Fund’s treatment of lawyers lining up outside its offices. The Law Society accused RAF of subjecting the lawyers to unfair conditions and delaying justice for their clients The lawyers camped overnight to settle their client’s cases, only for RAF to fail to open its office doors The Law Society has slammed RAF for subjecting the lawyers to unfair treatment and impeding accident victims’ access to justice. Throngs of lawyers have had to endure long lines outside the RAF offices at Sammy Marks Square in Pretoria since noon on Sunday, 18 June, to negotiate block settlements. This comes after RAF released a notice informing legal practitioners about the dates and venues for block settlements. The notice indicated that the negotiations would be on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Committed
Written by Zelda Venter | Published on 21 June 2023 Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA) Pretoria – Hundreds of lawyers, desperate to have their clients’ claims settled directly with the Road Accident Fund (RAF), were again waiting for service yesterday after camping overnight outside Sammy Marks Square in the Pretoria CBD. While things were moving slightly yesterday after a futile overnight wait on Monday, the process was still painfully slow with the queues hardly moving. Proceedings were slow because only a few firms were allowed in at a time; and it took at least two hours for RAF staff to negotiate with each firm. The lawyers did not want to miss out on the opportunity to respond to the RAF’s recent invitation to negotiate block settlements, and again braved the bitter cold night to be first in line when the offices opened yesterday morning.Some posted videos of queues stretching
Written by Jonisayi Maromo | Published on 21 June 2023 File Picture: Jacques Naude / African News Agency (ANA) Pretoria – The Law Society of South Africa has expressed concern over the treatment of throngs of legal practitioners who queued at Sammy Marks Square in the Pretoria CBD in a bid to take up the offer from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to negotiate block settlements for their clients who are accident victims. The RAF had sent a notice to legal practitioners indicating the dates and venues for block settlements. However, these negotiations would be on a “first come, first served” basis. Legal practitioners queued up since noon on Sunday, 18 June in order to be first in line on Monday. “On 19 June, the RAF offices remained closed and legal practitioners were informed that the offices will open on Tuesday, 20 June. Police were called in when legal practitioners
Written by Zelda Venter | Published on 20 June 2023 Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA) Pretoria – Chaos erupted yesterday as hundreds of attorneys queued at Sammy Marks Square in the Pretoria CBD, to take up the offer from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to negotiate block settlements for accident victims. Several attorneys who did not want to be identified for fear of victimisation, told the Pretoria News that they had been queuing at the venue since noon on Sunday. “We did this to ensure a place in the queue as the RAF said it will be on a first come, first serve basis,” one of the attorneys said. According to her, she and her colleagues took turns to stand in the queue. To make matters worse, nothing came of their efforts, as the office set up by the RAF on the first floor of the Sammy Marks Convention
Written by Zelda Venter | 12 May 2023 SIX months after a Pretoria law firm launched a Constitutional Court challenge on behalf of six road accident victims in an effort to secure trial dates for their matters, they are still waiting to hear whether their case will be entertained or not. Gert Nel, of the law firm, Gert Nel Incorporated, said in filing the application on an urgent basis, the applicants were yet to hear from Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on the matter. Nel said in many cases claimants had been waiting years and in some cases, claimants had died before their claims could be finalised. He referred to an article in a business publication earlier this month in which Pick n Pay chairperson Gareth Ackerman said that the government was raking in millions of rand as a “windfall tax” because of load shedding. Ackerman noted that 37% of the
Written by Zelda Venter | 11 May 2023 Pretoria – A full Bench (three judges) of the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, this week heard arguments by several Road Accident Fund (RAF) claimants, asking that directives issued by the entity which places obstacles in the way of issuing new claims to be overturned. It was argued on behalf of the eight claimants who turned to the courts, that the directives make it nearly impossible to lodge claims and that the RAF is infringing on the constitutional rights of claimants. In terms of these directives and an amended claim form, claimants must attach a host of documents, such as a comprehensive accident report and hospital and medical records, before they are allowed to even lodge it. The court was asked to set aside the requirement for all the compulsory information before being able to lodge a claim. In a first step, the
CCT 366/22 Makua Obo Ka Makua & 5 others / SECRETARY-GENERAL: OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE & 9 others – Letter 2
Email from Gert Nel Sent: 14 April 2023 08:55am Dear V Dhulam, Thank you for the prompt reply. We are however concerned that an otherwise urgent matter is met with little or no reasonable response, each passing day adding to the already top heavy and dire situation. We are totally aware of the procedural requirements but are now at a point where we would require that you start extending the Applicants the courtesy of a feasible timeframe in which to expect your clients response, surely the prescribed dies applies to all parties involved? Having regard to the above we respectfully require you to favour us with a more substantial reply within the next 7 (seven) days. Yours Truly, Gert Nel Reply from Vijay Dhulam Sent: 18 April 2023 12:55am Dear Sir We take note of your email. Our clients instruction is to await the court’s directive in terms of Rule
CCT 366/22 Makua Obo Ka Makua & 5 others / SECRETARY-GENERAL: OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE & 9 others – Letter 1
Email from Gert Nel Sent: 13 April 2023 14:26pm Dear V Dhulam, Your ref.: 0252/22/P14/mp The above mentioned matter and our letter addressed to the Honourable Chief Justice, dated the 24th of February 2023, refers. We confirm, not having received the courtesy of a reply to the said letter nor anyformal reply, in the form of apposing papers or otherwise. Having regard to the urgent and serious nature of the application, we respectfully submit that we would be pleased to receive your further advices within 7 (seven) days of this letter, in the absence of which we will reconvene to consider remaining remedies available to ensure that our client’s constitutional rights are protected. Yours Truly, Gert Nel Reply from Vijay Dhulam Sent: 13 April 2023 14:56pm Dear sir We do apologise for not responding to your previous correspondence. We have filed our notice to oppose in terms of the rules