The DA welcomes the High Court order that suspends all payments for settled claims not older than 180 days until 12 September 2021. The order also states that claims older than 180 days in which settlement have already been reached, must be paid.
This should allow the RAF some breathing room to get its ducks in a row and finalise historic payments, while putting the necessary measure in place to be able to pay out newer claims.
The Fund’s financial woes have mostly been of its own making as its approach since 2008 has not been to settle as required by the RAF Act, with the Fund trying to entice people into lodging their own claims rather than seeking representation from a legal professional. This is due to the RAF’s erroneous belief that their high legal cost is based on fair representation rather than the Fund’s own overlitigation.
Instead of litigating almost every claim that comes to the RAF, it should mandate its claim settlers to settle minor claims. At the moment, research shows that 90% of litigated claims are settled on the day of judgement.
Unless the RAF changes the way in which it operates, the current backlog will continue to increase, and it will edge ever closer to insolvency.
The DA also calls on the RAF to reinstitute a unit to investigate corruption and fraud since there has been no form of inspectorate since the shut-down of the RAF-Forensic Investigating Task Team (FITT) in 2017.
The RAF should take this reprieve from the High Court and do everything in its power to rectify the situation or history will simply repeat itself next year and the year after.
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