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Soweto - A car accident survivor is at war with his lawyers for paying him meagre monthly amounts from his R961 000 Road Accident Fund (RAF) payout.

Lebohang Ngobeni, 24, of Dobsonville, Soweto, claims his family have been struggling to make ends meet because he hasn't received full access to his claim that the RAF paid out in May last year. 

However, his lawyers claim that administrative systems at the Master of the High Court were behind the delay.

Ngobeni sustained multiple head and knee injuries after he was hit by a speeding vehicle in 2006. His mother lodged the claim the same year, and although the RAF settled his claim last year, his trust fund has not been finalised yet. Ngobeni has been receiving money through an investment fund from his lawyers at CN Sweetnam.

“They told me the money came in but they are still waiting for the trust, and every time I need money I have to phone to ask about money for things like my school expenses,” he said.

The marketing student from Damelin said he had not received definitive responses from his lawyers about why his trust is taking long to be finalised.

CN Sweetnam owner Nelson Sweetnam told The Star that the matter of Ngobeni’s trust was at the Master of the High Court, but there was a backlog.

“When it gets to the Master they talk about 21 days that it should take before you get what you need, and then basically you can set up the trust. The trust that has to be set up is in the end stage of being set up but unfortunately we are caught up in a delay,” he said.

Ngobeni lives with his two siblings and grandmother, who provides for the family on a social grant. He added that he needed his claim to assist with school fees and other school expenses like transport as well as to assist his grandmother to maintain their home.

“I told them that I wanted the money to open a tourism business with my father,” he added.

RAF chief marketing officer Phumelela Dhlomo said her office was not permitted to interfere in the attorney-client relationship and could not advise on the payment methods attorneys use to pay their clients on the compensation received. 


The Star