Earl Coetzee
Digital Editor
6 minute read
20 Dec 2019
6:00 am

Pit toilet victim’s mom: ‘I may have closure, but I’ll never forgive them’

Earl Coetzee

'I saw the rotten toilets and when I looked inside I saw Michael’s hand,' said Michael's father, James Komape, who ran about 10km to the school after receiving the devastating news.

The toilets in the background stand guard over the filled pit toilets where Michael Komape died at a school in rural Limpopo. Picture: Earl Coetzee

This week saw a close in a traumatic five-year long chapter for the family of Michael Komape. The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein on Wednesday awarded the Komape family R1.4 million for emotional shock and grief suffered as a result of then five-year-old Michael’s death. In a full bench judgment read out by Judge Lorimer Leach, the SCA questioned why Education Minister Angie Motshekga and the Limpopo department of education had decided to oppose the Komapes and Section27’s appeal against a high court ruling, despite having conceded during the main trial that the Komapes had suffered as a...