Education minister distraught after death of girl, 5, who fell into pit latrine at school


JOHANNESBURG, March 15 – Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Thursday expressed her condolences to the family of five-year-old Viwe Jali who died after falling into a pit latrine at the Luna Primary School in Bizana in the Eastern Cape earlier this week.

Jali died on Tuesday.

“The death of a child in such an undignified manner is completely unacceptable and incredibly disturbing. I would like to send my sincere condolences to the family of our Viwe Jali,” said Motshekga. “I cannot begin to know the trauma the parents are experiencing, it is truly a tragic incident and my sympathies are with them.

“Words cannot express the pain I personally feel at the loss of a young life in this horrific way,” said Motshekga. “To know that as a sector we have not been able to address these infrastructure issues fast enough, for a number of reasons, breaks my heart.

Motshekga said counselling services were being provided to the school, while a case had been opened with the local police.

She said her department was building toilets and other infrastructure at schools which did not have.

In 2014, a six-year-old Grade R boy fell into a pit toilet and died at Mahlodumela Primary School in Chebeng village, outside Polokwane, in Limpopo.

– African News Agency (ANA)