The SCA has lambasted Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her team for their previous decision to appeal a ruling on damages that were sought by Michael Komape’s family for emotional shock and grief.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has lambasted Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and her team for their previous decision to appeal a ruling on damages that were sought by Michael Komape’s family for emotional shock and grief.

More shocking is the revelation by the SCA of how the late learner’s school had not bothered to ask his parents how they were coping following his death.

In a full Bench judgment read out by Judge Lorimer Leach on Wednesday, the SCA found that Motshekga and the Limpopo Department of Education had conceded during the main trial that the Komape's family had suffered emotional shock and grief when they witnessed five-year-old Michael drowning in a school pit latrine on January 20, 2014.

The family initially sought constitutional damages of R3million but the High Court in Limpopo refused the claim in April last year.

At the time, Judge Gerrit Muller had ruled that the family only deserved R100000 for the loss of their child.

This led the family in June last year to petition the SCA to seek redress.

In their ruling, the SCA judges noted that they were particularly surprised by Motshekga’s decision to oppose the appeal.

On Wednesday, Judge Leach maintained that the appeal lodged by the Komapes was successful and ordered the education authorities to pay the parents an amount of R350000 each.

It also ordered that two of Michael’s elder siblings be paid up to R200000 each while his three younger siblings be awarded R100000 each.

The total amount that will be granted to the family stands at R1.4m. The SCA also ordered the payment of R6000 each for the future medical treatment of the minor children.

Political Bureau