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R K and Others v Minister of Basic Education and Others (754/2018; 1051/2018) [2019] ZASCA 192

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R K and Others v Minister of Basic Education and Others (754/2018; 1051/2018) [2019] ZASCA 192

17th January 2020

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1] On 20 January 2014 S K (S), who was at the time just five years of age, suffered the most appalling and undignified death when he fell into a pit latrine at his school in Limpopo, and drowned in its sludge and filth. In due course the appellants, being S’s parents and siblings, instituted action in the Limpopo Division of the High Court claiming damages they alleged they had sustained arising out of his death, including separate claims for emotional shock and grief. Their claims succeeded in part but, in the main, were dismissed. They appealed to this court with leave of the court a quo.

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[2] I record at the outset that Equal Education, a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation, also appeared as amicus curiae and supported certain of the appellant’s claims. The application of Richard Spoor Inc (RSI), a firm of attorneys, to intervene as a further amicus was dismissed at the commencement of the appeal. In dismissing that application, we indicated that our reasons would be given in our judgment in the appeal.

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