A HORRIFIED mum found her five-year-old son drowned in the sewage tank of faulty school toilet – but was only awarded £53k in compensation.
Little Michael Komape tragically lost his life after falling into a hole in the ground filled with human waste at Mahlodumela School near Polokwane, South Africa.
His grief-stricken parents sued authorities for £160,000 for trauma, grief, medical expenses, funeral costs and lack of earnings, claiming the outdoor latrines were unfit for human use.
But they were awarded less than a third of the sum.
Devastated James and Rosina Komape said the Minister of Basic Education, the local education ministry and the school principal were responsible for their son’s horrific death.
Rosina took to the witness stand to tell how she received a call on January 20, 2014, from the school’s head teacher saying her son was missing.
The panicked mum said she rushed to the school before demanding to know where her boy was.
The court heard that teachers told her they had searched everywhere – and did not seem to want her to go near the toilets, according to GroundUp.
But Rosina told the court she rushed to the latrines after another child informed her he had been with Michael when he fell into the sewage pit.
When she arrived there, she said she was greeted by the sight of “his whole arm but not the rest of his body” poking out of the filth.
Dr Kwena Selaki Matlala, who examined the five-year-old’s body after his death, found he died from inhaling human waste – leaving a bloody froth foaming from his mouth.
The Komape family say children should never have been allowed near the dilapidated toilets – while authorities deny blame, insisting the tragedy was an accident.
Just three months after the incident, Dikeledi Magadzi – ex-education chief for Limpopo Province – told local broadcaster ENCA: “If something happens, so be it. I am not God.”
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The clip went viral after the case prompted widespread outrage in South Africa.
The toilets were demolished on the very same day Michael died, according to News24, with many schools in the area getting new ones.
But photos taken before they were destroyed are reportedly were presented in court as evidence.