A three-year-old girl has drowned in a school toilet, prompting widespread outrage and with her family reportedly suspecting foul play.
The family of little Langalam Viki now reportedly fears that the tot was murdered after she was found drowned in a pit toilet at the Glen Grey Primary School in Glen Grey, in Eastern Cape Province, in South Africa, on Tuesday, 7th March.
She had reportedly been missing an entire day, having disappeared on Monday, 6th March, before her lifeless corpse was finally found the following day.
The young girl’s heartbroken mum, named as Nangamso, 28, has since said that the ordeal has ripped the family’s lives apart, adding: “No words can describe the pain I feel.”
Nangamso also said: “The pain is unbearable. I have not been able to sleep in weeks. No words can describe how I feel. I am gutted.”
The grieving mother also said that she is concerned about her 10-year-old son, who has not been named.
Nangamso said he was very close to his sister and that he told his grandparents after school that day that his sister had gone missing.
According to the local media outlet eNCA, the child’s family also suspects that Langalam may have been murdered.
Amnesty International South Africa has said that it hopes that the tragic incident will prompt the South African government to take action and eradicate pit toilets.
A pit toilet is a type of toilet made up of a hole in the ground. Urine and faeces drop through a hole in the floor.
Some politicians have reportedly also echoed the sentiment.
The Democratic Alliance, the official opposition party to the ruling African National Congress, reportedly plans to launch court action to force the Department of Basic Education to eradicate all pit toilets from schools across South Africa.
Basic Education Department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said police were still investigating the circumstances around Langalam’s death.
He added: “The school where Langalam attended received new toilets in 2018. We have conveyed our condolences to the family and supported them and we will continue to do until the truth is uncovered.”
News 24 reported that when asked why the toilets at the school allegedly do not flush, despite being made out of an adequate firebrick structure, Provincial Education Department spokesperson Vuyiseka Mboxela reportedly said that it was down to the lack of a sewage system in the village.