Family of child who died in pit toilet awarded damages for his death

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The Supreme Court of Appeal has awarded the family of five-year-old Michael Komape damages for his death. This follows an appeal by rights organisation Section 27 against the Limpopo Education Department on behalf of the family.

Komape died after falling in a pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primary School in Limpopo in 2014. The High Court in Limpopo had dismissed the family’s claim for damages.

The Supreme Court of Appeal has overturned that ruling.

“R350 000 for Ms Komape, R350 000 for Mr Komape, R200 000 for Ms ML Komape and R200 000 Mr L Komape, R100 000 for each minor child Maria Onica and Moses Komape. The claims for future medical treatment in respect of minors Maria Moses and Onica succeed,”  Justice Eric Leach said, delivering the judgment.

Michael Komape’s father, James, has welcomed the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The court has awarded the family R1.4 million in compensation for his death.

James Komape has thanked Section 27 for taking the Basic Education Department to court.

“As the family, we are satisfied about the outcome even though Michael is no more. This is what the family has only been asking for. We are so happy and would like to thank Section 27 for a job well done. They were patient with us and have done a wonderful job.”

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