Michael Komape case: Provincial gov't urged to compensate family

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in Limpopo proposed that the provincial government compensate the family of Michael Komape, even though they lost their court application in which they claimed R2m in constitutional damages, funeral costs and loss of income for his mother.

Five-year-old Komape drowned in a pit toilet at Mahlodumela Primary School, outside Polokwane, four years ago.  

The Limpopo High Court in Polokwane dismissed the Komapes' compensation claim on Monday. Instead, it ordered that two of Komape's siblings be paid R6 000 each for general medical expenses.

READ: Michael Komape's family likely to appeal dismissal of claim - lawyer

However, the ANCYL League said in a statement that Premier Stan Mathabatha and Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe should take their cue from the Life Esidimeni arbitration hearing, which focused on the deaths of patients who were moved from the facility to NGOs.

"The ANCYL in Limpopo believes that human life has equal worth and in this regard, we propose that the Limpopo government must compensate the family of Michael Komape consistent with what has been paid to the families of the Esidimeni as per Judge [Dikgang] Moseneke's ruling," spokesperson Nyiko Baloyi said. 

Judge Moseneke ruled that each claimant that died in the Life Esidimeni saga be compensated in excess of R1m each by June 19.

"Michael Komape went to school like any other black child and never returned as a result of negligence on the part of our ANC-led government and R400 000 as proposed by [the] Limpopo government is just but too little to wipe off the tears of the Komape family," Baloyi said. 

Michael Komape's parents Maloti and Rosina.(City Press)

In November last year, the Department of Education made a partial settlement of R100 000 towards funeral costs, loss of income and psychological medical expenses.

The family had lodged the civil claim with the assistance of SECTION 27.

The advocacy group said it was disappointed at the judgment. However, it was still studying it and will consult the family on further action. 

"We anticipate that we will be appealing the damages aspect of the judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal," SECTION 27 said in a statement.

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