South African justice compensated Wednesday to the tune of 1.4 million rand (87,000 euros) for the family of a 5-year-old boy who had drowned in the latrines of his school, a news item which had outraged a country sick of his public services.
The epilogue of a long soap opera, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein (center) awarded damages to the parents and siblings of the victim for the « emotional shock and pain » caused by his death.
Michael Komape died in January 2014 drowning in the open latrines of his school in the northeastern province of Limpopo, simple holes dug in the ground.
Last year, a Limpopo court found the national ministry of education and its provincial counterpart guilty of violating the victim’s “right to education” by failing to provide him with safe places to wash. .
But he had refused to compensate his family.
The death of little Michael had aroused intense emotion in South Africa, where open latrines are common in schools.
Opposition political parties and civil society had stepped up to denounce the bankruptcy of basic public services in the country, still crippled by glaring racial and social inequalities, a quarter of a century after the fall of apartheid.
After the death of another schoolboy in the same circumstances in early 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa had promised the disappearance of open school latrines within two years.