Judgment reserved in ‘pit toilet’ case

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Judgment in the court case over a five-year-old Limpopo learner who drowned in a pit toilet, has been reserved in the High Court Polokwane.

Michael Komape died after falling into the pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primary School in Chebeng outside Polokwane in 2014.

His family is suing the state for more than R3 million with the help of rights organisation Section 27. The family is suing the state for R900 000 for pain and suffering and R2 million for breach of the Constitution. There is also a separate claim for grief and additional amounts requested for psychological fees.

The state has accepted liability, but disputes the amount being sought.

Mark Heywood from Section 27 says he is disappointed in the way government is handling the case.

“Government’s attitude throughout this case has been very careless. The way that they have conducted this litigation has been hurtful to the Komape family. The suggestion that the Komape family are merely trying to exploit their son’s death to get more money, is a disgusting suggestion. The way they have approached this litigation is unfriendly to poor people and that in itself is against the spirit of the constitution. So I think government if it is going to show its caring, it’s got to change its attitude to these types of tragedies.”