Connect with us


Judge rules Gauteng Education MEC liable to compensate Soshanguve children injured by falling gate



Gauteng MEC for Education

The Gauteng MEC for Education has been held liable for the injuries two Grade 1 pupils sustained in 2020. According to IOL, the incident occurred when a newly constructed gate at a Soshanguve school fell on the children as they went to the portable toilets near the entrance. The children’s mothers filed a claim for damages against the Gauteng Education Department, holding the school accountable for allowing the children to go unsupervised. The children, 5 and 6 at the time, suffered multiple bone fractures, among other severe injuries. The mothers also attributed the accident to shoddy construction work on the gate and adjacent wall.

According to the testimony presented in the Gauteng High Court, the children had to open the gate to reach the toilets. The incident occurred shortly after the start of the 2020 school term, following the completion of the first phase of construction involving the wall and gate. The school governing body had approved the project, designed and constructed by a contractor. However, some raised concerns about the incomplete construction of the gate, with warnings to only use it once security measures were in place.

Also read: JMPD Officer Applauded for Buying School Shoes for Joburg Learner

On the day of the incident, a feeding scheme worker witnessed pupils near the gate, contrary to the earlier warnings. As a result, the gate collapsed, trapping the children underneath. The staff promptly rescued the children and transported them to a clinic for medical attention. A lack of safety warnings and inadequate welding practices contributed to the gate’s failure.

The principal testified that the wall and gate had been deemed safe and complete when school began. However, the school acknowledged that the portable toilets had been placed in the wrong location outside the wall, near the sports field, instead of on the school building side as intended.


Acting Judge T Nichols concluded that the tragic incident could have been prevented with qualified personnel overseeing the construction and proper supervision of the learners. The judge further noted that the incident would have happened if the toilets had been away from the construction site. Accordingly, the amount payable will be decided later in the proceedings.

Also read:

Roodepoort police conduct raids on two high schools in the precinct

Picture: Twitter / EducationGP1

Follow us on Google News.

Continue Reading