Free State Health MEC hit with punitive costs over closure of Bloem radiology practice

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The Free State High Court granted a punitive costs order against the MEC for Health and confirmed two interdicts prohibiting the government from closing the private radiology practices of De Vries and Partners in the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein.

State officials who flout the law and incur unnecessary cost orders should be held personally liable, Judge Johann Daffue said,

According to a Volksblad report, Judge Johann Daffue granted a punitive costs order against the MEC for Health when he confirmed two interdicts prohibiting the government from closing the private radiology practices of De Vries and Partners in the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein.

Dr BAF Benganga, acting head of clinical services in the hospital, last year forced his way into the operating theatre accompanied by security guards when Professor Coert de Vries, chief cardiologist of the department, was operating on a patient. Benganga and his security guards had no respect for the Constitution and the laws of the country, Daffue said.

After the first interdict application, Benanga continued his aggressive behaviour the next day. Daffue said in his opinion state officials could be forced to pay the bill in their personal capacities, but he could not grant such an order as it had not been requested. The report says the interdicts were confirmed pending the outcome of a case about the doctors’ lease agreements.

Full Volksblad report (subscription needed)

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