The high court has found that the Western Cape Social Development Department is to blame for the death of a baby at an unregistered daycare centre in 2010.
Five-month-old Ava Barley accidentally asphyxiated after she rolled off a bed at the Pinelands facility.
The parents for five-month-old Ava Barley are emotional after a drawn out legal battle, according to legal representative Chris Smith.
They're obviously relieved that after seven years that they have had some closure.— Chris Smith, Senior Associate at DSC Attorneys
Nearly seven years after the tragedy, Judge Daniel Dlodlo ruled the department must pay damages to baby Ava Barley’s parents.
The baby’s parents also won a negligence case against the owner of Aunty Dawn's Daycare Centre.
The parents' lawyer says Dawn Moore had applied to the department in 2008 to register her facility, but the department had not done anything to assist her to comply.
Two years later, at the time of the baby’s death, the centre was still not registered.
Smith says baby Ava's parents are waiting on the department in order to negotiate a settlement agreement.
Meanwhile, the department says it is studying a High Court ruling.
The department has 20 days to decide whether it intends to appeal the matter.
Social Development MEC Albert Fritz says the department is considering legal interventions to close illegal daycare centres that are mushrooming across the province.
He says officials will also help register complaint daycare centres.
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