Pretoria - A 86-year-old North West granny did not stand back on Thursday when it came to locking horns with a judge of the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
She wants the judge to personally pay her about R1.2 million which she claimed she was entitled to as he allegedly failed to act on her Road Accident Fund (RAF) claim nearly 30 years ago, when he still had his own law firm.
Koketo Frieda Moreotlotlo had attended court on several occasions in the past, barely able to walk with her walking frame.
Her case against Judge Ramarumo Monama was postponed on several occasions in the past due to a number of reasons. This included that a judge of another division had to be appointed, as the case could not serve before one of Judge Monana’s brothers or sisters of this division.
But it was all systems going as the proverbial David took on Goliath.
Although the granny was the one who sued the judge for payment, Judge Monama was the one who took the stand first, as he is basing his chances on a legal point. If this point succeeded, it will mean the end of the case and Moreotlotlo won’t see a cent. If the judge lost on this point, the matter is due to proceed on its merits.
Moreotlotlo’s case is that on August 5, 1989, she and other passengers were on their way to a political rally.
The bus had been hired to transport members of the community to the rally held by then Bophuthatswana president, Lucas Mangope.
The bus driver allegedly lost control and was involved in an accident during which Moreotlotlo was injured. She said she suffered head and chest injuries, and her ear was also partially ripped from her head.
She was taken to hospital, where she remained for several weeks.
She said she approached Judge Monama who at that time was an attorney practising in the area, to handle her claim against the RAF.
It is stated by her in court papers that Judge Monama, an expert at the time in RAF cases, agreed to take on her matter.
She said nothing happened regarding claim for some time and when she inquired, she was told that these things took time. She said she was also informed from time to time that the fund was in serious financial difficulty and unable to make payment to her.
“The plaintiff became disillusioned during 2009 and subsequently instructed another lawyer to establish from the defendant the status of her claim,” it was stated.
She is now claiming the damages directly from the judge as she blames him for not acting within the legal time frame.
With the rolls reversed for the judge on Wednesday, he took the witness stand and testified that by the time the woman’s claim against the RAF had reached his then law firm in Mafikeng, the claim had already lapsed.
The judge was also adamant that Moreotlotlo never properly instructed him as to the way forward, in spite of him calling her at the time to attend to a consultation.
Judge Monama testified that all this happened a very long time ago and he had to now testify from memory. “The problem is this happened 30 years ago and I no longer have the file on this,” he said.
He, however, denied any wrongdoing and said if someone was in the wrong, it was the woman as she did not act sooner on her claim.
The case is proceeding