Section27 fights for 'claim for grief' in Michael Komape pit toilet death case

Michael Komape was five-years-old when he drowned in a pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primacy School in Chebeng Village, outside Polokwane, on 20 January 2014.

His parents are suing the state for R3m and also want to compel it to provide decent sanitation at schools across Limpopo Province.

The case will be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on 2 September.

RELATED: 'We want justice for Michael Komape and his family'

Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, on the Eusebius McKaiser Show, talks to Section 27 communication officer Zukiswa Pikoli about the case.

In 2014, a five-year-old Komape asked to go to the toilet and subsequently didn't return. The teacher and the school got in touch with his parents to say that he was missing. His body was discovered several hours later by his mother in a dilapidated pit toilet.

Zukiswa Pikoli, Communications officer - Section 27

She says Section 27 had been doing work in Limpopo at the time and discovered the dire state of sanitation in the province.

The legal advocacy group heard the Komape family's plea for assistance and decided to represent the family.

It took four years to receive a court date and the case was heard in the Polokwane High Court in 2017.

The biggest impediment we had in progressing with this case was the fact that the government didn't want to come to the party in terms of acknowledging what happened and then taking accountability for what happened.

Zukiswa Pikoli, Communications officer - Section27

Government's lack of accountability has necessitated taking the case to the Supreme Court, says Pikoli.

By the time the government offered a settlement, that was insulting to the family, and we decided to take the proceedings on board and go to the Supreme Court.

Zukiswa Pikoli, Communications officer - Section 27

She says the education department of education and teachers from the school did not visit the family to offer condolences and or show an understanding of the magnitude of the case, and this caused the bereaved family even more pain.

When I first heard about this case, I couldn't fathom someone falling into a toilet to their death.

Zukiswa Pikoli, Communications officer - Section 27

In court, in the states line of questioning towards Komape's parents was insensitive and lacked compassion, she says.

After three weeks, the judge granted a structural order for the Department of Basic Education to come up with a plan to address the poor sanitation in the province.

What was disappointing is that the claim for grief was not allowed as well as the constitutional damages claim.

Zukiswa Pikoli, Communications officer - Section27

Section27 has, therefore, chosen to take the case to the Supreme Court.

Because we want the common law developed around the claim for grief. After the judgment, we wanted to fight for the Komape family to get the justice they deserve.

Zukiswa Pikoli, Communications officer - Section27

Section 27 is running a campaign aimed at keeping Komape's memory alive called 'Justice for Michael'.

We want to ensure that his death is not forgotten and part of what we want to highlight is that the sanitation crisis is a continuing crisis which didn't stop when Michael died.

Zukiswa Pikoli, Communications officer - Section27

Listen below to the full interview:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Therapists describes what scary 'consensual' sex looks like

Therapists describes what scary 'consensual' sex looks like

Clinical sexologist Dr Eve helps listeners understand what defines terrifying intercourse.

[LISTEN] 'There is no reason why you should want the apartheid flag'

[LISTEN] 'There is no reason why you should want the apartheid flag'

Eusebius McKaiser discusses the ongoing debate around the Apartheid flag with guests Kneo Mokgopa and Vashna Jagarnath.

SA company may have the solution to  dealing  with tree borer beetles

SA company may have the solution to dealing with tree borer beetles

Beetle Busters co-founder of Michael Vivier explains how the chemical works and the progress they have made so far.

Komape family granted leave to appeal

Komape family granted leave to appeal

Limpopo High Court has granted the Komape family whose son Michael died in a pit toilet, leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

'We want justice for Michael Komape and his family'

'We want justice for Michael Komape and his family'

The legal team in the Michael Komape case has made representations to appeal the Polokwane High Court’s decision.

Section27: 'We are disappointed with the Komape damages judgment'

Section27: 'We are disappointed with the Komape damages judgment'

Section27 R3 million damages claim for Michael Komape's family after he who fell into a school pit toilet and died in 2014 failed.

Popular articles
Amy'Leigh kidnapping suspect reveals the mastermind

Amy'Leigh kidnapping suspect reveals the mastermind

EWN reporter Kgomotso Modise unpacks the court case at the Vanderbijlpark Magistrates Court.

'We have evidence that the EFF and Julius Malema took bribes for tenders'

'We have evidence that the EFF and Julius Malema took bribes for tenders'

Arabile Gumede interviews Stefaans Brummer, a journalist at the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism.

Mail & Guardian: Hawks investigating Floyd Shivambu's Range Rover Sport purchase

Mail & Guardian: Hawks investigating Floyd Shivambu's Range Rover Sport purchase

Investigative journalist Thanduxolo Jika gives details of the report he filed on the EFF leader and the connection to VBS.

[WATCH] 'If this world were mine', grocery store impromptu rendition goes viral

[WATCH] 'If this world were mine', grocery store impromptu rendition goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

Call for arrested drug mules to serve time in SA prisons

Call for arrested drug mules to serve time in SA prisons

Locked Up SA's Patricia Gerber wants government to have a prison transfer agreement so families are involved in rehabilitation.

How to buy a new car even if you don’t really have enough money for it

How to buy a new car even if you don’t really have enough money for it

South Africans are increasingly buying cars they can’t afford using balloon payments, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.