Six-year-old killed after asbestos toilet collapses on him in Northern Cape

A six-year-old Warrenton boy in the Northern Cape has died after an asbestos toilet structure collapsed on him.

Police say the boy and his peers were playing not very far from the toilet, and later the boy went into the toilet and the structure collapse on him.

Northern Cape police spokesperson Sergio Kock says the boy died on the scene.

“SAPS in Warrenton are investigating an inquest into the death of a six-year-old boy in Warrenton. On 22 October 2020 at about 15:30 a group of boys were playing in and around an abandoned toilet close to the deceased boys’ house in Refikile shanties, Warrenton. It is further alleged that the walls and roof of the toilet collapsed while the boy was inside the asbestos structure. The boy died on the scene.”

In 2014, five-year-old Michael Komape drowned in a pit toilet at a school at Chebeng, northwest of Polokwane, in Limpopo. The appeal court last year granted damages to the child’s family.

The Limpopo Education Department has conceded that more than 500 schools in the province are still using pit toilets. The department’s head Beauty Mutheiwana, however, says they have managed to build safer toilets since the death of five-year-old Komape, who fell in a school pit toilet five years ago.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein in 2019 awarded Komape’s family R1.4  million in compensation.