Pietermaritzburg - A young northern KwaZulu-Natal woman has won a case against the government after she was neglected for 28 hours during her baby's birth, leaving the child severely handicapped.

Judgment was made in favour of the mother in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.

The mother, Njabule Madonsela, demanded compensation of R15 833 000. The amount which the department had to pay would still be decided.

According to court documents, Nqutu hospital staff breached their duty towards Madonsela, and failed to perform a Caesarian section to expedite birth when it was reasonably expected that this could and should have been done.

Hospital staff failed to keep proper records which would have alerted them to complications. They failed to note she was enduring abnormal pain and failed to find out why.

They failed to enlist the services of qualified staff to attend to the delivery pre- and post-natal.

As a result the child would be unable to follow a career, require a carer to feed her and take her to the toilet. She was unable to perform normal activities, and speak or communicate as she would have been able to, had it not been for the neglect.