Justice for Michael Komape

Written by on November 13, 2017

The trial of Michael Komape who drowned in a pit toilet in 2014 is set to begin in the Polokwane High Court on Monday morning.

News24 reports that the 5-year-old had allegedly drowned in human faeces when he fell into a pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primary School in Chebeng Village, near Polokwane, on January 20, 2014.

According to Bosveld Review, the court has set aside three weeks for Komape’s trial.

It is understood that the Non Profit Organisation, Section 27, will represent Komape’s parents in the trial against the National Department of Basic Education and the Limpopo Department of Education.

Although the facts are undisputed, Section 27 has issued a statement on their website.

“Grade R learner Michael Komape went to use the pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primary School in Chebeng Village, near Polokwane, Limpopo. The school toilet was dilapidated, and could not support his weight. As a result, he fell through the structure into the toilet pit and drowned in other humans’ waste with all his dignity stripped,” the statement reads.

According to Section 27, the learner’s death was caused by a disregard for his safety on the part of the Minister of Basic Education, the MEC for Education in Limpopo, the principal and the teachers at Mahlodumela.

“[They] violated Michael’s rights to dignity, life and safety. They also breached their duties owed to parents to protect their children. When parents send their children to school every day they hand over their trust to ensure that their children will be safe and their needs met,” said Section 27.

The trial is aimed at receiving an award of damages for the Komape family, as well as an admission of the rights that have been violated.

Section 27 hopes that this will clarify the State’s obligations regarding sanitation at schools.

Image credit: (Section 27)


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