The Supreme Court of Appeal has slammed education authorities for the “cruel and denigrating” way they treated the family of a five-year-old child who drowned in a school pit latrine – and has ordered the government to pay the family R1.4m in damages for the “emotional shock and grief” of the little boy’s horrific death.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by the court on Wednesday, Judge Eric Leach said the case brought against basic education minister Angie Motshekga and the Limpopo education department by the family of Michael Komape was one that “cried out for settlement” – given that the government had admitted that its negligence had caused the little boy’s death...

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