Skip to main content

South African court grants damages over boy's latrine death

South Africa's appeals court has granted damages to the family of a five-year-old boy who fell into a pit latrine at school and drowned in 2014.

Judges ordered the Department of Basic Education to pay Michael Komape's family just over 1m rand ($70,000; £53,000) for emotional shock.

The department had denied responsibility for Michael's death.

The tragedy caused outrage in South Africa, and drew attention to the lack of proper toilets in many schools.

Wednesday's ruling overturned the decision of a lower court, which dismissed the family's case last year.

The appeals' court however rejected the family's demand for 3m rand ($208m), ruling instead that Michael's parents should receive 350,000 rand ($24,000) each and his three siblings 100,000 rand ($7,000) each.

 Michael was a pupil at the Mahlodumela Primary School in the northern Limpopo province. He drowned after going to the toilet on 20 January 2014.

Hi parents, James and Rosina, sued the minister of basic education after their son died.

Human rights group Section27, which fought the campaign to achieve justice for Michael's family, said in a statement that it welcomed the ruling. 

An estimated 4,500 schools out of a total of 25,000 in South Africa have pit latrine toilets.

After another incident last year where a five-year-old boy drowned after falling into a latrine, President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed that South Africa would eradicate pit latrines in state schools within two years. 

"This is an initiative that will save lives and restore the dignity of tens of thousands of our nation's children," Mr Ramaphosa said.


BBC

Comments

TRENDING

Must Read : Radio & TV Host Anita Erskine Pens Down A Letter To Rashida Black Beauty

We woke up to this masterpiece online, a LETTER of Starr FM’s award-winning media queen and Women’s advocate, Anita Erskine has written a letter to Rashida Black Beauty .. Just like a carousel, the maiden is still in her spinning stage and like mother eagle, Anita sees the future that Rashida someday can become a fabric of a building, thus, she wants her to, “…come and let’s talk – one on one.”

Serena Williams explains why she chose to marry a White man

A lot of Black people have criticized tennis champion Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams for marrying and dating White men, instead of sticking with Black brothers. The mother-of-one has now explained her reason for marrying Alexis Ohanian.

Akufo-Addo's presidential kiss with wife Rebecca Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered the 2019 State of the Nation Address on Thursday, February 21 in Parliament.

Photos and Videos from Kennedy Osei and Tracy’s royal wedding

It was all glitz, glamour and fancy cars at Trassaco Estate as the General Manager of Despite Media and son of Ghanaian business mogul, Osei Kwame Despite, Kennedy Osei traditionally marries his girlfriend Tracy.

2017 WomanRising 100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women Announced

WomanRising, a flagship network of The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE) has announced its annual list of the 100 Most Influential Women in Ghana (100 MIWG) for 2017.