Motshekga ‘saddened’ after EC learner dies in pit toilet

Five-year-old Viwe Jali fell into the toilet at the Luna Primary School in Bizana on Tuesday.

FILE: Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga saddened by the drowning of a learner in a pit toilet, says her department is doing everything in its capacity to address infrastructure backlogs.

Five-year-old Viwe Jali fell into the toilet at the Luna Primary School in Bizana on Tuesday.

The incident happened while a delegation of the National Council of Provinces is in the Eastern Cape to follow up on a 2016 visit and recommendations to improve conditions at schools in the province.

Motshekga says the undignified death is completely unacceptable and incredibly disturbing.

Ministerial spokesperson Troy Martens said: “The minister has expressed sadness around this incident. Our sympathies are with the family during this difficult time.”

Motshekga says counselling services are being provided to the school and a case has been opened with the police.

The minister says the department is addressing poor conditions at schools and is prioritising unsafe structures and those without decent sanitation, electricity and water.