Family of boy who drowned in school pit toilet to get more than R1m payout

The parents of Michael Komape, James and Rosina Komape.
The parents of Michael Komape, James and Rosina Komape.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

The Supreme Court (SCA) of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Wednesday ordered that the family of Michael Komape, who died when his school pit latrine collapsed, get paid more than R1m for emotional shock and grief.

The judgment follows an appeal by Michael's family against a 2018 Polokwane High Court judgment.

Five-year-old Michael, a Grade R pupil, suffered a gruesome death when the toilet collapsed and he fell in on January 20 2014.

The high court dismissed claims for general and constitutional damages sought by Komape’s family. Claim A was for damages for emotional trauma and shock, and Claim B was for grief suffered by the deceased's immediate family.

However‚ the court put the basic education department on terms to ensure it supplied and installed toilets at all rural schools.

The SCA ordered that the basic education minister and the Limpopo education MEC pay R350,000 each to Michael's parents and R200,000 for each of his siblings, Mokibelo Lydia Komape and Lucas Komape.

The court also ordered the payment of R100,000 each for the Komapes three minor children.

The SCA ordered that the minister and MEC pay future medical treatment of R6,000 each.

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