Gran battles Pick ‘n Pay for damages
Elizabeth Van Niekerk is not your average 81-year-old. She drives a silver sport coupe, loves diamonds and wears impeccably applied make-up to complement her flaming red hair But her social life ”went to hell” after she put on a pair of kitten heels and went to buy hake at a supermarket, where she had a nasty fall, injuring her back and hip.
“I wasn’t going to leave it at that, Pick n Pay had to take responsibility.” said Van Niekerk. The great-grandmother took on the retail giant in the High Court in Cape Town and won the first round of her battle for damages this week. Judge Vincent Saldanha found that Pick n Pay’s negligence had led to Van Nierkerk’s fall and gave her the green light to claim for damages.
But because it can take years for trial dates to be allocated at the congested high court, Van Niekerk joked that she might not live to collect a compensation cheque. In 2004 she fell at the Melkbosstrand Pick n Pay near Cape Town.
The heel of her white strapless sandal became lodged in a metal grid covering forfeit.