Parents claim teachers were warned boy had fallen into pit toilet, but did nothing

2014-03-23 06:00

The parents of Michael Komape (6), who died after falling into a pit toilet at school, believe he could have been saved had teachers reacted timeously.

It is alleged that a young girl warned teachers that Michael had fallen into the toilet, but she was ignored.

Advocacy group Section27 said it was considering taking legal action on behalf of Michael’s family.

“Michael’s parents have legitimate questions and we want to seek justice for them as well as the deceased. We want to ensure Michael’s death is not swept under the carpet and if it was unlawful that someone is held responsible,” said executive director Mark Heywood.

He would not give details but it is believed a claim for damages is on the cards.

Michael’s family said the young girl, who used to play with Michael, said she had informed a teacher that Michael had fallen into the toilet pit.

Michael’s mother, Rosina Komape, said they wasted time looking for Michael elsewhere while someone had been told he was in the toilet.

“Before I fainted at the sight of my son’s body, I asked if we can pull him out but teachers said emergency people were coming. I woke up later and there were no rescue personnel and my son’s body was only retrieved at about 4pm after he went missing at 10am,” she said.

Michael’s father, James, said they had not heard from the education department since the funeral.

“It’s hurting that we last saw everyone at the burial and no one has ever bothered to check on us after our child died while in their hands at school.

“We don’t know if anyone is investigating his death at all but we believe it cannot just be something we can just forget like it was some simple death.”

The Limpopo education department said an investigation was under way.

“We will further investigate new allegations but will not at the moment comment on anything further that could later become subject of court [action],” said Limpopo education spokesperson Pitsi Maloba.

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