Enock Mpianzi death: Teachers were allegedly playing games while boys were struggling in river - report

2020-01-23 16:02
Locked gates at Nyati Bush and River Break lodge. (PHOTO: Tebogo Letsie/City Press)

Locked gates at Nyati Bush and River Break lodge. (PHOTO: Tebogo Letsie/City Press)

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While Parktown Boys' High School pupils taking part in a Grade 8 orientation camp were struggling in the Crocodile River during a water activity, teachers who had accompanied them were playing games.

This is according to a report by IOL on Thursday, as more details surrounding the drowning of 13-year-old Enock Mpianzi at Nyati Bush and River Break lodge, continue to unfold.

Mpianzi disappeared when a makeshift raft he and other boys were on overturned on the Crocodile River last Wednesday.

The teen's body was found on Friday.

IOL reported that the leader of the seven teachers who had accompanied the 198 boys on the camp, left the roll call list and indemnity forms on the bus which transported them to Nyati Bush and River Break lodge.

IOL spoke to sources who said a pupil, who had run to call teachers after the incident, found "two male teachers playing a game of throwing stones inside a bucket".

"Only two camp facilitators jumped in the river, where about 14 boys, including Enoch, were clinging onto a mini-island in the water.

"The boys were told to let go by the facilitators, who said they would catch the learners.

"Enoch drifted away and was not saved, while the traumatised boys were watching him," IOL quoted a source as saying.

'I felt like I was going to die'

Among the latest to speak out about the turn of events at the camp, is a boy who had made friends with Mpianzi before they departed for the camp, and who had watched him "struggling" in the river before being swept away.

*Lizo Mnguni (not his real name) was one of at least two boys who tried to alert teachers that Mpianzi had been swept away.

Mnguni said the stretcher had capsized soon after they got into the water and the boys had scrambled to grab onto the parts that had come loose.

"At that moment, I felt like I was going to die."

He added: "Enoch did not manage to get to the rubber tube... He seemed stuck in one place, trying to keep his head above water. I grabbed a pole and tried to pass it to Enoch. But... I couldn't reach him... The river swept him away."

Speaking to News24 on Wednesday, Lizo's mother, Nomandla, said the boy was now struggling to cope following the incident.

"My son can't take a shower. He has not showered since he came back from the camp, because the sound of water traumatises him. My son doesn't want to open up and talk openly about this, because the principal told him that he mustn't speak to anyone," the mother said.

The boy's account of what happened also aired on Radio 702 on the Eusebius McKaiser Show on Wednesday morning.

News24 previously misspelt Mpianzi's first name as "Enoch", based on information provided by members of the family and the education department. It has since been established that the correct spelling is "Enock"

 - Compiled by Sesona Ngqakamba

Read more on:    parktown boys’ high school  |  enoch mpianzi  |  north west  |  brits
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