The life of Ebrahim Khan changed one fateful night when he received a dreadful call all parents fear. On the evening of the 24th of March 2011 his second eldest daughter, Fagmieda Khan, then 17 years old, was treated for life threatening injuries after a drunk driver mounted the curb of a pavement in the CBD and hit her on her way home from work. According to Khan, the drunk driver, a Frenchman, was six times over the legal alcohol limit.
Khan, a self-employed single parent, said his life changed for the worse after the accident. “I rushed to the hospital, only to find my daughter in a coma. Doctors told me that they would need to perform emergency head surgery as debris were caught inside her skull as it cracked due to the impact. Police also told me that the man fell out of the car…that is how drunk he was at the time,” Khan said.
“As Fagmieda laid in hospital, staff then informed me of the Road Accident Fund that has a branch at the hospital. I gave my details to a man at RAF and left it there. The following week on a Monday or Tuesday, I was contacted by a lawyer who said that he would take over my case. He offered to give me R10 000 in the interim as I was not able to work because I needed to care for my daughter. I took the money but little did I know, he had an agenda. I requested R4 million in compensation from the RAF for the fact that I had to leave my work, my daughter’s life has been negatively impacted, she wouldn’t be able to work or go to school and for the pain and suffering our family had to endure due to this incident. It is almost four years later and still, nothing has come of it. I was told my case has been thrown out,” Khan said.
Khan explained that 12 months after the incident, the perpetrator was issued R2000 bail. Investigating officers informed him that the Frenchman has gone back to his home country.
“Since the accident, so much has gone wrong. No one told me about my case that has been thrown out of court. I have very little knowledge of legal jargon. I am fully of the opinion that some corruption has taken place. I have no money for legal representation but I will not let this go down without a fight,” Khan further added.
Khan says his daughter has since spiralled out of control. He told of her new husband who he alleges is a gang member who has targeted his daughter in her vulnerable state. He hopes the compensation will be able to put his daughter back on her feet and allow her to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a Mualimah.
He plans on getting all his evidence of the matter, along with blood samples the state has taken from the perpetrator to sue the relevant authorities for their lack in defeating the ends of Justice on the guilty parties. Khan claims that since the ordeal, a number of media reports have highlighted corruption regarding a recent probe into the RAF and parties guilty of defrauding some cases.
His hope is that his plight to bring justice to his family can shed light on how many lives can be shattered due to drunk driving.
VOC News has contacted the Road Accident Fund for comment and is awaiting a response. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)