'Even in death, he left a mark' - family says final goodbyes to Enock Mpianzi

2020-02-01 14:52
Enock Mpianzi. (Supplied)

Enock Mpianzi. (Supplied)

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A single tear tracked down the right cheek of Enock Mpianzi's mother, as her message to her son was read out during the funeral service of her late 13-year-old son.

The funeral service took place at Kensington Secondary School in Johannesburg on Saturday.

"You have brought me joy for 13 years, but you didn't say goodbye," Anto Mpianzi said in a message, read by her son Yves Kadilo.

"I do not know what to do, but I want justice both from God and man… I love you and will always love you."

READ | Enock Mpianzi is remembered for humble, respectful nature at memorial service

The teenager drowned while attending a Parktown Boys' High Grade 8 orientation camp at Nyati Bush and River Break lodge near Brits in North West last month.

Cries for justice

He was last seen when a makeshift raft he and other boys were on overturned on the Crocodile River, just hours after arriving at the camp.

His body was discovered two days later after a search, which was started the day after the drowning.

Since Enock's death there have been loud cries for justice, which were echoed by Enock's brothers, who expressed anger and shock that he had died while in the care of school staff.

"Sending him to school was not a game we were playing with his life," Kadilo said during his tribute to his brother.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko attended the gathering and addressed the mourners gathered at the funeral.

She vowed that the family would receive a full report after the investigation into Enock's death, adding that the recommendations made in the report would be "implemented without fail".

She added that the Gauteng Education Department would also review its policies governing learner safety.

A probe is currently under way into Enock's death, and a preliminary report by the Gauteng Education Department has found that the Grade 8 orientation camp of Parktown Boys' High School was not approved by the district and head offices.

Preliminary findings

The preliminary findings come as an independent law firm, Harris Nupen Molebatsi Inc, investigates the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The investigation is expected to scrutinise the school, the department and the school governing body, and would be made available to the public once concluded.

During the funeral service, Enock's family described him as a humble and obedient boy, who had many hopes and dreams for his future.

"He was a remarkable child. Even in his death, he has left a mark," said Guy Itamba, Enock's father.

They also recalled how he had been excited to attend the orientation camp, having told his mother he could not sleep the night before.

The youngster was also honoured at a memorial service at Parktown Boys' High School on Tuesday.

Speaking at the event, Enock's brother Shadrack Intamba told mourners to "[r]emember that your neighbour is your responsibility. Your neighbour's child is also your responsibility."

The school's principal, Malcolm Williams, has been suspended pending the investigation into the matter.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, speaking at the memorial, said Parktown Boys remained one of the province's top schools and that it wouldn't be shut down, though tough decisions would need to be taken.

Read more on:    faith mazibuko  |  johannesburg  |  enock mpianzi

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