This Wednesday, Eusebius McKaiser held a critical conversation with Section 27's Nomatter Ndebele and Equal Education's Leanne Jansen-Thomas, about how corruption and state capture has ultimately affected the structures and availability of educational resources in South Africa.
Four years ago, six-year-old Michael Komape allegedly died after inhaling human waste when he fell and drowned in a pit toilet at school.
State capture is the cause of Michael being dead. Looting is the cause of Michael being dead. Inequality is the cause of Michael being dead. Poverty and corruption is the cause of Michael being dead.— Eusebius McKaiser 702 and CapeTalk host
Ndebele says public interest law group, Section27, selects cases based on what may lead the organisation to help make systematic changes in the country.
She says the group took up Komape's case because he died in such a terrible manner which should not have happened 23 years into South Africa's democracy.
We see this case as a way to set a precedent in order for the department of education to acknowledge their accountability and responsibility to learners, she adds.
The right to dignity is a right that allows people to function in their society without feeling marginalised or insignificant.— Nomatter Ndebele, Section 27 communications officer
Michael died an undignified death.— Nomatter Ndebele, Section 27 communications officer
Jansen-Thomas says nongovernmental organisation Equal Education made a submission to the courts to be an amicus in the Komape case, as they believe the State knew or should have at least known of the crisis presented across several schools in the country.
The State opposed our application, saying they felt the case didn't raise constitutional issues.— Leanne Jansen-Thomas -Equal Education Policy and Training head
Listen to the clip below for more on the Michael Komape case and state of under resourced schools: