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Roads Directorate face M480 000 suit for negligence

Nat Molomo

A HA-Mabote man, Pekenene Nchere, is suing the Roads Directorate for M480 000 in damages for injuries he allegedly sustained after falling into a pit, left uncovered by the parastatal, on the night of 30 April 2015.

The case was heard by Acting Judge, Justice Polo Banyane, who this week postponed it to 8 October 2019 to enable Mr Nchere’s lawyer, Advocate Bernard Masiphole, to make his final submissions before judgement is delivered.

Mr Nchere (49) of Phomolong, Ha-Mabote, limped into the witness box on Tuesday.

He was a bricklayer at the time he fell into the open pit on the night of 30 April 2015 at Mookoli just outside Maseru. The accident left him disabled. He now walks with the aid of crutches.

The M480 000 damages claim is broken down as follows: M100 000 for discomfort, M81 142 for disability, M150 000 for loss of previous and future earnings, M70 000 for loss of amenities and M30 000 for future medical expenses. He is also claiming M48 858 for medical expenses already incurred.

Mr Nchere, who is married with three children, told the court that his wife abandoned him after he sustained the injuries.

Reliving his ordeal before Justice Banyane, Mr Nchere said he had gone to withdraw money near Maseru on the ill-fated night.

“From the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), I proceeded to Mookoli junction to board a taxi to Ha-Mabote and that is when I fell into an open pit.

“I was trapped in there shouting helplessly until I phoned my niece who came to my rescue at around 21:00 hours and he took me to Tšepong (Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital) in his car.

“I was diagnosed with an injured femur and hospitalised for 15 days. After being discharged, I went home. I could not walk because my left thigh was fitted with wire plates and I have to use crutches for support for the rest of my life,” Mr Nchere said.

He said he subsequently made inquiries and found that the Roads Directorate, whose mandate is to maintain the country’s roads, was responsible for the open pit.

“I am claiming compensation and expenses I incurred as a result of falling into the open pit which left me with a broken left femur and I am now fitted with support metals,” he said.

Justice Banyane postponed the case to 8 October 2019.

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