The Eastern Cape Education Department is to defend a lawsuit brought by the parents of five-year-old Lumka Mketwa, who drowned in a pit latrine at Luna Junior Secondary School in Mbizana last year, says a City Press report.

Eastern Cape Education MEC Fundile Gade caused a storm by allegedly remarking at an Education Committee meeting that parents kill their children and dump their bodies at government facilities to claim compensation.

DA MP Yusuf Cassim said Gade made the remarks in the Bhisho legislature when indicating that his department would oppose the Mketwa family’s claim.

If the MEC suspects foul play he should provide evidence. Making such irresponsible remarks without providing any evidence only serves to denigrate the dignity of the Mketwa family,’ said Cassim, who has written to Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, asking him to investigate Gade’s ‘callous, insensitive and irresponsible remarks’.

Mabuyane’s spokesperson, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, said they could not comment because there was no audio recording to back up Cassim’s allegations.

Besides, the MEC is denying making those allegations. There is nothing we can say without a recording. Whoever is alleging this must provide proof that the MEC indeed said those words,’ Sicwetsha said.

Full City Press report