FINAL ARGUMENT IN THE MICHAEL KOMAPE CASE
POLOKWANE 1 February – Rosina Komape vs Department of Basic Education resumes in the Polokwane High Court today, Thursday 1 February
On 20 January 2014, during break time, Grade R learner Michael Komape went to use the pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primary School in Chebeng Village, near Polokwane. The toilet was dilapidated and Michael fell into the pit below. He drowned in other people’s waste with all his dignity stripped. Michael was only five years old. It was his third day at school.
The Michael Komape trial resumes in the Polokwane High Court on 1 and 2 February when legal teams will present their closing arguments.
This is an important step towards attaining justice for Michael Komape and getting closure for his family. The Komape family holds the education authorities responsible for Michael’s death. The department has acknowledged its negligence which resulted in Michael’s death. The Court will now decide on the amount of damages to be awarded to Michael’s family for the pain and suffering they have endured.
The Court will also have to weigh whether to award the family damages for grief, which would be a ground-breaking order, or whether to order the state to pay constitutional damages.
The Komape family further seeks a declaratory order that the state violated a number of their constitutional rights as well as the rights of learners in Limpopo schools, who are still today forced to use toilets that violate their dignity on a daily basis.
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