oa De Rebus - Criminal and intentional acts versus COIDA
[2009] 2 All SA 491 (E) : case note



Court judgments with far-reaching effect sometimes go unnoticed for many years. A good example of such a case is [2009] 2 All SA 491 (E), delivered by Ebrahim J that changed the law regarding claims for occupational injury or diseases. In South Africa, employees are generally barred from claiming damages against their employer for any occupational injury or disease. This is in terms of s 35(1) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 (COIDA), which makes the Compensation Fund liable for payment. Ebrahim J ruled that there are exceptions to this general rule and that criminal and/or intentional acts in particular fall outside the reach of COIDA, thus entitling the employee to claim directly from the employer. There are indications that the judgment is now starting to have an impact.


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