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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May 2005, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
SA damages after toilet collapse
toilet
The toilet was in a military hospital
A South African woman has won damages of R80,000 ($13,000, 7,000) after a toilet collapsed beneath her.

The Pretoria High Court ordered the minister of defence to pay damages for the incident, which took place in a military hospital in 1999.

Susanna Jacoba de Beer was visiting her husband, a retired soldier, in hospital when she needed to use the toilet.

She told the court she still suffered pain as the result of injuries sustained in the incident.

Mrs de Beer had been directed to the gents' toilet, as the ladies' was out of order.

In her submission to the court, Mrs de Beer said that seconds after she sat down, the toilet bowl shattered beneath her, and the cistern also fell down.

Scarred

Mrs de Beer landed on broken pieces of the toilet bowl, and her right knee was twisted and trapped under rubble.

She still bears scars from the accident.

Taxpayers' money will have to meet the R80,000 damages, plus legal costs.

Mrs de Beer's initial damages claim had been for R587,000 (nearly $100,000).

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