Maggots in mouth: family claims R11m from KZN health department
The family of 52-year-old Sadek Ebrahim, who died shortly after a video of squirming maggots in his mouth went viral last year, are suing KwaZulu-Natal health authorities for R11m for negligence.
A combined summons, submitted to the Durban High Court, by the family's attorney Theasen Pillay details how departmental officials acted negligently and recklessly in the treatment of Ebrahim.
According to the court papers, which TimesLIVE is in possession of, Ebrahim's son and wife are claiming a combined amount of R11m from RK Khan Hospital in Chatsworth, south of Durban, as well as provincial health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu.
Ebrahim, who had been admitted to the state hospital in June, died on July 3 shortly after a video taken by his son showing maggots in his mouth sent shockwaves across social media.
His son Azaad is claiming R7.5m while Ebrahim's wife, Edith Rajaruthinam, is demanding R3.5m.
The claims form part of compensation from the hospital and MEC for general damages, emotional trauma as well as pain and suffering.
An excerpt from the combined summons reads:
"The Plaintiffs claim that had the First Defendant (R K Khans Hospital) acted with proper diligence, care and professionalism expected from a medical institution the deceased would not have had required his limbs to be amputated nor would the deceased have had an infestation of maggots in his mouth."
The summons notes that the Second Defendant (MEC for health in KZN) is "vicariously liable" for RK Khan's actions.
According to Pillay, the sheriff of the court served papers of KwaZulu-Natal health officials last week. They have 30 days to decide whether they will be defending the case and subsequently submit their plea to do so.
However, the provincial health spokesperson, Noluthando Nkosi, could not confirm this.
"As a matter of principle the department does not comment on matters that are pending before a court. When this matter first emerged the department took decisive, immediate and swift action and would like to leave it at that at this point."
Azaad could not be reached for comment.