A pathologist, who conducted a postmortem on five-year-old Michael Komape after his body was retrieved from a pit toilet he drowned in, has testified in the High Court in Polokwane.
Doctor Matlala has told the court that the Grade R learner died due to lack of oxygen after inhaling foreign substances.
He says the child suffered severe brain swelling and his stomach was bloated. The body was also covered in maggots and bloody froth came out of the mouth due to a rupturing of a small blood vessel.
Matlala adds that Michael’s feet were wrinkled as a result of being submerged underwater for hours.
The victim’s oldest sister broke down while testifying about how she learned that he had drowned in pit toilet at school.
Lydia Komape started crying shortly after describing how she felt when she saw her brother’s body.
Komape became emotional when she spoke about events that took place on 20 January 2014 at Mahlodumela Primary School. She has told the court that she refused to believe Michael had died until she saw his covered body lying next to the toilet.
She has testified that she sat next to the body for a while before going home without talking to anyone.
Lydia says her brother’s death broke her heart and she wants the teachers and education department to be held accountable.