Laid off soldier seeks more compensation


A former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldier who was laid off work following a leg injury wants the Court of Appeal (CoA) to increase his compensation amount. The soldier has argued that the compensation amount is ‘too little’.

Thomas Lekorwe, 31, was employed as a Lance Corporal and reportedly laid off work in 2008 after suffering a permanent leg injury during football training.

He sued government for what he alleged was hospital negligence.

Lekorwe alleged that his operation was not done on time and this resulted in him suffering permanent injury and constant pain.

In 2012, Lekorwe was awarded damages in the sum of P30,000 for pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life in 2012.

Through his attorney, Tebatso Seabueng, Lekorwe on Monday submitted before the CoA bench that the trial court’s judgment was unfair to him as the amount was too little and could not sustain him.

Seabueng argued that out of the P30,000 awarded, the P5,000 given as damages for disfigurement and permanent disability was too little and disproportionate to the circumstances of the case as compared to the P250,000 he had initially sought.

“My client has a permanent injury and as a result he had to be laid off from work, despite the doctor having recommended an office job for him. He has not been able to find another job since then. The amount he was compensated with is too little and cannot sustain him throughout his life,” he said.

Seabueng also argued that the trial judge had erred in findings that his client had failed to prove his claim for future medical expenses, even though he had submitted evidence through a medical report.

“The medico-legal report clearly stipulated the future medical expenses that will be incurred by my client. The judge also failed to consider my client’s submissions on both medical expenses and how loss of income should be calculated,” he said.

Seabueng said the judges should consider the loss of income in the sum of P1 043,532, which he argued was reasonable under the circumstance since Lekorwe was left with 20 more years before his retirement.

State attorney Julia Mokoti however said the P30,000 that was awarded for all the claims was reasonable, adding that the appellant had failed to submit any evidence in support of his claim of P250,000 during the litigation he sought as damages for permanent disability.

“The appellant sought the amount for disfigurement and permanent disability but he failed to state why he was entitled to that  amount therefore the P5,000 given was reasonable,” she said.

Mokoti submitted that evidence was not led for any loss of income and future medical expenses pointing out that the appellant continues to benefit from medical facilities provided by his former employer.

Mokoti added that the appellant earns a disability grant and is still young enough to benefit from government schemes or find another suitable job.  Judgment has been reserved for July 30, 2015.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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