Department, school liable for accident

2011-11-09 13:00

Local government and a Joburg school are liable for an accident in which a five-year-old boy lost both his legs when a tree fell on him, the Gauteng education department (GDE) said today.

“The school and the GDE are liable for the accident,” it said in a statement after studying a report into the matter.

Grade R pupil Lewis Wynne’s legs had to be amputated after a tree landed on him at Cater Primary School in Alexandra, northern Joburg last month.

The department said the report found that a treefeller had burnt the tree in an effort to cut it down. The child’s legs were severed when it fell into the container classroom.

“Following this report, the GDE has engaged the services of state attorneys to facilitate negotiations with the family’s legal representatives with a view to settle the matter speedily.”

The department said negotiations would look at compensation for Wynne and his family for damages caused, as well as for his recuperation and rehabilitation.

The department noted the school had “done everything in its power” to ensure Wynne received urgent medical attention.

The GDE said it had provided counselling for Wynne and his family, as well as providing daily transport to the hospital.

“The school, the district as well as the MEC have visited the learner in hospital and had several interactions with the family.” – Sapa

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