By placing obstacles which make it nearly impossible to lodge claims, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) is infringing on the constitutional rights of claimants. A Pretoria News report notes that this is according to lawyer Jean-Paul Rudd, who has launched legal proceedings on behalf of his clients to overturn directives issued by the RAF and the Transport Ministry regarding the requirements to lodge a claim. 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. Rudd is now asking the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to set aside the requirement for all the compulsory information before being able to lodge a claim.
In a groundbreaking first step, the court earlier gave the green light for claims to be lodged with the RAF for now without all documents. This is, however, pending the review application, for which no date has yet been set. The effect of the interim order is that the RAF cannot refuse any victim of a road accident from lodging their claims. While it is only temporary and pending the outcome of the review application, the earlier order will prevent thousands of RAF claims from lapsing before claimants are able to submit all the documents, as required under the new directive. A host of claims were, however, rejected outright by the RAF between 8 March and 15 June when the directive was still in place. Rudd will also ask for an order that those whose claims that were rejected as they did not have all the documentation at hand will have a further three months in which to lodge their claims.