So Sad! Court Denies SA Pit-Latrine Victim’s family Any Compensation


A South Africa court has said there will be no compensation to the family of the 5-year-old pupil who drowned in his school ‘dilapidated’ pit toilet in 2014.
The family of the victim had filed a suit demanding about 3m rand ($240,000; £170,000) in damages from the education department, it had blamed for the accident.
They sued for trauma, grief, medical expenses, funeral costs and lack of earnings.
Judge Gerrit Muller, who threw out the case, however only ordered that two of Michael Komape's siblings be paid 6,000 rand each for general medical expenses.
He rejected the bigger claim for "constitutional damages", local media reported.
The education department challenged the compensation claim, saying the boy's death was an accident, and not caused by negligence or "unconstitutional conduct" on their part.
The five-year-old's death caused outrage in South Africa, with many people raising concern about the lack of proper facilities at schools more than 20 years after minority rule ended.
The boy's mother, Rosina Komape, told the court that the head teacher called her on 20 January 2014, saying her child was missing.
She said a child in the same class told her he had fallen into the toilet.
Mrs Komape said she "could see his whole arm but could not see the rest of his body" and then she fainted.
Her son's death left her traumatised, and she lost her job, she added.


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