Family of boy who died in school pit toilet 'denied justice'

Polokwane - The family of five-year-old Michael Komape, who died in a pit toilet in 2014, has been denied justice because no one has been held accountable for his death, the Limpopo High Court heard on Tuesday.

There was also no criminal investigation, Section27 lawyer Chris Maleka argued.

The human rights organisation has gone to court on behalf of the family and is suing the government for damages.

Section27 executive director Mark Heywood earlier testified that there was no further communication between the Komape family and police after the boy had died.

Heywood testified about how the Basic Education Department failed to act and prioritise school sanitation, even after it was warned of dangers faced by other schools.

Read: Basic education dept was warned of 'sinking' toilets 10 years ago, Limpopo court hears

He said, despite government’s plan in place to provide proper sanitation in schools, the toilets were not completed by the first quarter of 2014.

According to Heywood, the department’s school sanitation programme surprisingly failed to include schools that needed urgent attention.

Komape fell and drowned in a pool of faeces at Mahlodumela Primary School in Chebeng Village outside Polokwane.