The Mpumalanga education MEC was yesterday ordered to pay almost R65 000 to cover past medical costs of a teenage boy who was severely injured when his school friends shoved a compressed air pipe into his rectum.
Judge Billy Mothle yesterday granted an order in the High Court in Pretoria, giving the education MEC seven days to pay the interim amount into the trust account of the boy’s attorneys to cover his past medical expenses. Court proceedings pertaining to the rest of the damages claim of almost R700 000 will only proceed in November.
The teenager’s father, a retired mineworker from Mpumalanga, instituted the damages claim against the education department after a November 2011 incident at the Platorand special school in Mpumalanga when fellow pupils violently grabbed the boy, bent him forward and pumped compressed air into his anus.
The child sustained severe intestinal injuries and his rectum was ruptured.
He lost consciousness and was taken to the Belfast Hospital and thereafter to the Middelburg hospital, where he had an emergency operation to save his life.
He spent four days in intensive care, suffered severe shock and experienced extreme pain.
He had to receive trauma counselling and will need further medical treatment and trauma counselling in future.
The boy’s mother also sued the education MEC for her emotional shock when she learnt of the assault on her son, which resulted in her having to be hospitalised for psychiatric treatment.
The attack took place during school time in full view of the boy’s classmates while their teacher was outside the classroom.
The child’s parents claimed teachers at the school had been negligent because they knew the pupils suffered from learning disabilities, had special needs, exhibited behavioural problems and should not be left without proper supervision.