Pit toilet death investigated

A five-year-old boy suffocated in a pit toilet at the Mahlodumela Primary School in Limpopo.

A five-year-old boy suffocated in a pit toilet at the Mahlodumela Primary School in Limpopo. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Limpopo education department has launched an investigation into the death of a five-year-old boy who suffocated in a pit toilet at the Mahlodumela Primary School saying such incidents can't happen again.

The grade 0 pupil was discovered inside the toilet on Tuesday after his teacher and pupils realised he'd been missing for hours.

More than 4,000 schools have not had proper toilets for the past two years despite promises by the department that the problem would be dealt with.

Spokesperson Phuthi Seloba said, "We're investigating the incident to draw lessons to use them to prevent it from happening again."

Last week, Eyewitness News reported on the state of some typical Limpopo schools, including the prevalence of inadequate toilets.

Human rights group, Section 27, has been trying to help these schools for years.

The organisation's Nikki Stein said they are shocked at the news and have offered to provide legal assistance to the school and assistance to the boy's family.

"We've been working on the issue of sanitation in the province and should the school and the parents need assistance from us we are willing to help."