Parents at Parktown Boys' school demand answers following death of pupil during a camp

2020-01-17 14:04
Enock Mpianzi. (Supplied)

Enock Mpianzi. (Supplied)

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Parents and pupils at Parktown Boys' High School in Johannesburg were visibly heartbroken on Friday as news of the death of a 13-year-old Grade 8 pupil surfaced.

With teary eyes, some pupils from the camp could be seen walking out of the school gates being consoled by their mothers.

READ | Missing Parktown Boys' pupil last seen when makeshift raft overturned in river

Enock Mpianzi went missing as Grade 8 pupils participated in a water activity during an orientation camp near Brits in North West on Wednesday.

The boy was last seen on Wednesday when a makeshift raft he and other boys were on overturned on the Crocodile River.

Shock

Parents whose children attend the school have expressed shock at the incident.

READ | Parktown Boys' pupil who went missing during 'water activity' at orientation camp named

One mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, told News24 that her son was unable to go on the camp because she had not bought his uniform.

"More than anything else, I am shocked. Thank God he didn't go. But I have a lot of questions because I am asking myself of the methods they took to ensure the children are safe," she said.

The mother said the incident has left her shaken and questioning her decision to place her son at the school.

"But where else should I take him because of all this placement issues?" 

A father Tebogo Mphela, a former pupil of the school, was at the school to pick up his son, who was also at the camp.

He said from the time the boys left, he had a feeling that something would happen. This as the boys were allegedly under the care of the school's Grade 12s. 

"I had this instinct that these are children going to look after children. The so-called matrics. I had a feeling something wrong would happen and it did and I feel sorry for that child who drowned," the father said.

Counselling

The parents are demanding answers from the school and education department following the tragedy and are also questioning why they were not informed about the incident.

"I only heard about this incident on the news this morning, to my surprise," one parent told News24.

By 12:00 school had been let out. 

The Teddy Bear Foundation, who was called in by the department, is at the school to offer support.

The foundation's director Shaheda Omar said their team had already started counselling the pupils and parents.

Danie van der Merwe, marketing manager at Nyati Bush and Riverbreak, where the camp took place, referred all media queries to the education department.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is expected to brief the media in the afternoon.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  education
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