16 March 2018

South Africa: The Indignity of Pit Toilet Deaths - Michael Komape in 2014, Now Lumko Mkhethwa

Photo: Ciaran Ryan/GroundUp
James and Rosina Komape remember clearly the day their son Michael drowned in a toilet at his school.

Lumko Mkhethwa will be buried in Bizana in the rural Eastern Cape on Saturday. Although an investigation is under way regarding specific details, the Grade R pupil died after falling into a pit toilet at Luna Primary School on Tuesday this week. She was five years old. By HLUMELA DYANTYI.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga described the passing of Lumko Mkhethwa in such an undignified matter as "unacceptable, and incredibly disturbing".

Although the exact cause of death for Lumko has not been confirmed yet, a case has been opened at the local police station, Mzamba Police Station, and investigations are under way.

On Tuesday, 13 March, the little girl was reported to have disappeared from class and could not be found. Later that day, a security found her body in the toilet, according to a statement from SECTION27.

The pit latrine has since been closed.

Provincial spokesperson of the Department of Education, Loyiso Pulumani, reported that the district director, Mbulelo Mpupu, heard news of the passing of the little girl on the evening of Wednesday 14 March. She sent condolences to the family the following morning. Pumulani said the Education Department is fully supporting the family and have offered to...

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Girl, 5, Dies After Falling Into Pit Toilet At School

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