Body of girl who died in school pit toilet only found the next day despite search
A search party was called together after five-year-old Eastern Cape Grade R pupil Lumka Mthethwa failed to return to class earlier this week after going to the toilet‚ said the National Council of Provinces.
"(The) learner at Luna Primary School‚ was reported missing at the school on Monday and a search - involving police and the community - was conducted to find her. Unfortunately‚ her lifeless body was found the next day at the school’s pit latrine toilet‚" said NCOP spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.
The little girl had fallen into the toilet and drowned.
Mothapo said after hearing about this tragic news‚ a Mbizana-based delegation of the NCOP that was visiting the Eastern Cape to report back on progress made on commitments made during "Taking Parliament to the People" in November 2016 - visited the school to find out more about the incident.
"Education department officials who accompanied the delegation during this visit committed to provide mobile toilets to Luna Primary School before the end of this month and also offered to assist the family with funeral arrangements. The NCOP will closely monitor the implementation of this commitment‚" said Mothapo.
The NCOP was expecting a full report back on the incident and said it wanted to ensure such an incident was never experienced again.
Meanwhile‚ Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said she was disturbed by the undignified manner in which the little girl died.
Motshekga said the incident was “completely unacceptable”.
"The death of a child in such an undignified manner is completely unacceptable‚ and incredibly disturbing. I would like to send my sincere condolences to the family of our Lumka Mthethwa‚ who passed away tragically.
"I cannot begin to know the trauma the parents are experiencing‚ it is truly a tragic incident and my sympathies are with them‚" said Motshekga.