City of Johannesburg to pay out for medic’s trauma

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A landmark legal challenge will force the City of Johannesburg to provide adequate counselling and support services to medics and firefighters suffering from trauma.

Veteran medic Kim Williams, who was among those who rushed into the burning shell of the Bank of Lisbon building in the Johannesburg city centre to save her friends in September last year and has since battled crippling flashbacks and depression.

On top of the traumatic experience, notes a Sunday Times report, Williams’ salary was withheld in the month following the fire. Her manager did not accept that she had been booked off work suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and marked her absent without leave.

This was rectified two weeks later, but in the five months that followed she was paid a salary minus Sunday and public holiday pay. According to the report, she said in her submission to the local government bargaining council that she received no counselling and her managers did not process an injury-on-duty claim.

Sunday Times report (subscription needed)

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