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THE SA Rail Commuter Corporation has been ordered to pay R1,84 million in damages to a youth who lost his leg when he was pushed or fell from a moving train.
Pretoria High Court Judge Mahomed Ismail ordered that this money be kept in a trust on behalf of Bongani Mojafe, 19, of Orange Farm, south of Joburg.
Mojafe was 16 when he fell from the moving train and landed under its wheels on November 23, 2009 near New Canada station.
Mojafe blamed the rail commuter corporation, stating that the driver and the train guard were negligent as they had not ensured that the doors were properly closed.
The court was told that it later emerged that the doors were in fact faulty and could not close.
Mojafe said the commuter corporation should have been aware of this and should have taken precautions.
He suffered severe injuries to his right leg, which eventually had to be amputated below the knee.
Mojafe initially claimed R3,8m for past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings, as well as pain and suffering.
He later upped this amount to R7,7m, but the court ordered that R1,84m was sufficient under the circumstances.
According to a medical report, Mojafe is experiencing pain in the amputation stump because of a poor-fitting prosthesis.
Mojafe, who was taken to the Chris Hani- Baragwanath Academic Hospital after the accident, said when he woke up and realised he had only one leg, he cried bitterly.
At the time of the accident he was doing Grade 9, but is now unemployed.
Mojafe said his school told him that he had to attend another school “for disabled people”. As his school no longer wanted to accept him, he could not continue with his studies.
He lives with his unemployed aunt, who receives a government grant. She is apparently not reconciled with the idea of looking after him. Mojafe often walked to a nearby supermarket where he begged for food, the court was told.