By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:
I am very pleased that Ms Brenda Mavimbela has been awarded R13.1 million as a result of medical negligence at the Far East Rand Hospital – which left her young daughter brain-damaged.
On Tuesday last week, Judge Mailula of the South Gauteng High Court made this award against the Gauteng Premier and Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu. Mrs Mavimbela was represented by Attorney Gary Austin.
Nonjabulo Mavimbelo was admitted to the Far East Rand Hospital during 2010 when she was one and a half years old. She was misdiagnosed as having bacterial meningitis when in fact she had TB meningitis.
As a result of incorrect treatment she was permanently disabled. She is blind and cannot talk, walk nor feed herself.
The court heard the aspect of the merits granted judgment in favour of Nonjabulo in 2013.
The defendants then brought a belated leave to appeal which was denied by the court. The defendants further went on to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which leave was dismissed.
The quantum hearing (the determination of the financial compensation) was set down and Nonjabulo was assessed by 30 experts on behalf of both legal parties’ teams.
Based on their recommendations, an amount of R13.1 million was awarded by the court.
Ms Mavimbela can be contacted on 082 298 8219.
The Gauteng Health Department should have conceded this case far earlier. They have not won a single court case for medical negligence in the past five years.
Ms Mavimbela has struggled on her own for all this time, but justice has finally been achieved.
The Department should settle cases like this sooner. It would be far better, however, for medical standards to be improved radically so that negligence does not happen in the first place.