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MEDIA RELEASE 24 February 2010 (For Immediate Release) THE RAF SUPPORTS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT The Pretoria High Court today heard an application by the Department of Transport asking for the postponement of a court challenge involving the DoT, and Road Accident Fund as respondents, and the Law Society and others as applicants. The group is challenging the constitutionality of the Amendment Act 19 of 2005 that was jointly introduced by RAF and DoT as part of a broader strategy to transform the Fund into a fair and equitable system for road accident victims. Acting Judge Hans Fabricius dismissed the application with costs and the matter is expected to continue from Monday to Wednesday next week as scheduled. Jacob Modise, CEO of the Road Accident Fund said while the Fund supported the Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele in the application for a postponement, the RAF was nonetheless ready to defend all the necessary changes implemented in the Act in order to plug all the loopholes that have left it vulnerable to wide spread abuse. Seven commissions of inquiry have stated that the current system is failing citizens of the country and is in need of drastic changes. Even some in the legal profession agree that the system is being abused by their colleagues, as an email being circulated amongst members of the legal fraternity clearly states. Modise said: “In the face of such blatant admission by the legal profession that they do not have the interest of the South African public in mind when they fight for retention of a system that fails its citizens, I wonder whether anyone can truly give credence to the myriad of facades and untruths they continue to paddle (mismanagement, access to the courts, RAF acting as player and referee, etc.).” 2 “The current system does not meet its twin social objectives of re-integrating victims of road accidents back into society from a health and economic perspective as well as provide protection from economic ruin,” said Modise. “This is a travesty. The current fault-based scheme not only denies South African citizens immediate access to medical treatment and other benefits because they must first prove fault before they can access these benefits, it also allows the legal profession to rob the victims of their compensation by charging them a success fee,” he said. “It is not surprising, therefore, that the legal profession is fighting for the maintenance of the status quo - it is simply greed and self-interest”, added Modise. A recent communication issued by SAAPIL, of which a copy is attached, seems to confirm this. In it, the Chairman of SAAPIL, Mr Ronald Bobroff, admits that the “vast majority of [advocates and lawyers] depend entirely on RAF work”; that lawyers and advocates “have and continue to grow fat and rich on RAF work” and that the RAF scheme is being “retained for the entire Legal Profession” through “to a very large extent … the efforts of SAAPIL”. Issued by: Jacob RD Modise Chief Executive Officer Road Accident Fund Contact Information: Contact Person: Mandla Mvelase Designation: Executive Marketing & Communications Company Name: Road Accident Fund Contact Details: Tel + 27 (12) 429 5190 E-mail: Mandla@raf.co.za Website: www.raf.co.za BACKGROUND ON THE RAF 3 The RAF provides cover to all road users within the borders of SA. The two types of cover provided are the Indemnity Cover to wrongdoers in an accident who are indemnified from personal liability for the wrongs they have caused and Personal Injury Cover where victims of accidents and their families have their medical costs, loss of income, loss of support, funeral expenses and general damages paid to them. The RAF mandate, as defined in terms of the Road Accident Fund Act (Act no 56 of 1996), is the payment of compensation for loss or damage wrongfully caused by the driving of motor vehicles at any place within the Republic of South Africa. It is the vision of the RAF to become a sustainable, world class provider of cover for personal injury arising from the use of motor vehicles in South Africa. The RAF’s mission includes the rehabilitation and compensation of persons injured as a result of motor vehicle accidents in a timely and caring manner; and to actively promote safe use of our roads.
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