Damages judgment in Komape case will hopefully bring closure for family: Section27

18 December 2019 - 14:04 By ERNEST MABUZA
James and Rosina Komape remember clearly the day their son Michael drowned in a toilet at his school. Section27 said it hoped the damages award of R1.4m to Komape family members would bring closure to the family.
James and Rosina Komape remember clearly the day their son Michael drowned in a toilet at his school. Section27 said it hoped the damages award of R1.4m to Komape family members would bring closure to the family.
Image: Ciaran Ryan

The judgment by the supreme court of appeal on Wednesday, which awarded damages for emotional shock and grief, was a victory for the Komape family.

This was the reaction of Section27, a public interest law centre which has been representing the family of Michael Komape, a five-year-old Grade R pupil who died at his school in Limpopo when his school pit toilet collapsed on January 20 2014.

The centre said the SCA awarded damages for emotional shock and grief to each member of the Komape family to the total value of R1.4m, as well as future medical expenses for each member of the family.

“This is a victory for the Komape family, as damages for both emotional shock and grief had been dismissed by the Polokwane High Court in 2018.”

The civil claim was launched in the Polokwane high court in 2015.

The law centre said the case has been ongoing for more than five years and proved to be a deeply emotional and difficult time for the family.

“Section27 hopes that this judgment will bring some semblance of closure for the family and restore their dignity for the manner in which Michael died and the treatment of the family by education authorities in the aftermath of his death,” the centre said.


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