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WC Social Development ordered to pay damages to dead baby's parents

Five-month-old Ava Barley asphyxiated after she rolled off a bed at a Pinelands daycare centre in 2010.

On Thursday 14 October 2010 baby Ava Rose Barley (5 months) died while in the care of a Pinelands daycare centre. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Social Development Department has declined to comment at this stage on a High Court ruling that has found it is to blame for the death of a baby at an unregistered daycare centre.

Five-month-old Ava Barley asphyxiated after she rolled off a bed at a Pinelands daycare centre in 2010.

The ruling was made in the Western Cape High Court last Friday.

The Social Development Department says it won’t comment at this stage as it is studying the judgment.

Nearly seven years after the tragedy, Judge Daniel Dlodlo ruled the department must pay damages to baby Ava Barley’s parents.

The five-month old’s body was found trapped between a bed and a bedside table a while after she was put to sleep at the day-care facility in October 2010.

Dlodlo found the owner of the day-care had applied to the Social Development Department to register the facility in 2008. At the time of the baby’s death, the centre was still not registered.

Dlodlo ruled the department’s failure to do so materially contributed to the child’s death.

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)