A year ago today | The tragedy of Enock Mpianzi

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Friends and family attend the funeral service of Enock Mpianzi at Kensington Secondary School on February 01, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Friends and family attend the funeral service of Enock Mpianzi at Kensington Secondary School on February 01, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Morapedi Mashashe/Gallo Images

He simply wanted to have fun at a new school and make friends with his classmates. When he set off for the camp, it would be the last time his parents saw him alive. 

The Parktown Boys High School pupil drowned on a Wednesday, January 15 2020 and his body was only found a couple of days later. 

His death put a spotlight on school outings and some of the dangers involved. 

Since then, the Parktown Boys High School principal has been fired, his mother and the rest of his family are still reeling from the loss and there is a lawsuit in the pipeline.

We take a look at some of the coverage we did on the tragedy of Enock Mpianzi. 

Read more | Eldorado Park’s ward councillor speaks out on death of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies

In March 2020, a report into Enock's death was released, News24 reports.

Enock Mpianzi death: Report reveals shocking details on roll call list, water level at the camp

A forensic report into the tragic death of Grade 8 Parktown Boys High School pupil Enock Mpianzi revealed that an accurate roll call list, which was initially taken on departure at the school, was not available on site. 

The unavailability of the list subsequently led to confusion as to who exactly was at the camp when 13-year-old Mpianzi went missing following a water activity. 

The damning report also has findings which include the water levels and the absence of life jackets during the water activity. 

READ | Enock Mpianzi death: Report reveals shocking details on roll call list, water level at the camp

Enock Mpianzi (13) Foto: Argief

Drum interviewed Anto Mpianzi, Enock's mother early last year and she revealed that she was in shock over her son's death.

Enock Mpianzi’s mother on the pain she has endured since losing her son: “He was my everything”

It should have been the start of a bright new chapter – their youngest child was off to a prestigious school where he’d build the foundation for a promising future. But for Enock Mpianzi, it was over before it even began.

The tragic circumstances around the death of the 13-year-old Parktown Boys’ High School learner have united South Africans in outrage.

How could the school only realise he was missing the next day? The topic dominated the media – but for one family, the furor only added to their grief. A dark cloud hangs over the home in Malvern, Johannesburg, where the Mpianzi family live.

READ | Enock Mpianzi’s mother on the pain she has endured since losing her son: “He was my everything”

Enock Mpianzi's mother, Anto Mpianzi opens up about losing her son.

In June, Provincial Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced that the family is suing the department for R10 million. 

Enock Mpianzi death: Family suing Gauteng education dept for R10m

The family of Grade 8 Parktown Boys' High School pupil Enock Mpianzi is suing the Gauteng Department of Education for R10 million. 

Provincial Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi announced this in a media briefing on Monday afternoon in Midrand.

“After we released the report on Enock Mpianzi, we received a letter from his legal representatives representing the family about a potential action that they will take. Indeed, we received the formal letter last week. It was addressed to the minister and copied to us as a province where the legal team of the late Enock Mpianzi, the legal firm and the family are demanding R10 million from the Department. We have indicated that we have no appetite to oppose this matter.

READ | Enock Mpianzi death: Family suing Gauteng education dept for R10m

Enock Mpianzi
Friends and family attend the funeral service of Enock Mpianzi at Kensington Secondary School on February 01, 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Gallo Images Morapedi Mashashe/Gallo Images

DRUM spoke to the Mpianzi family in October who shared that the dismissal of the principal was not the accurate punishment and that those implicated in their son's death must be jailed.

A principal being fired is not enough justice, someone must be jailed: Enock Mpianzi’s family

Everyone seems to have moved on. The school is back to normal, the department has moved on to the next big issue, and the news cycle is focused on something else.

But their son is still dead and they won't have peace until someone pays for it. 

Parktown Boys' High School Grade 8 pupil Enock Mpianzi dominated the news when he drowned during a school excursion. 

His family has been waiting for justice since. 

READ | A principal being fired is not enough justice, someone must be jailed: Enock Mpianzi’s family

Parktown Boys' High principal fired for charges related to Enock Mpianzi death.

As it stands, no settlement has been reached after parents raised the amount they are suing the state for by another R10 million in October.

Enock Mpianzi death: Parktown Boys' High principal's dismissal triggers parents as they sue for R20m

The news of Parktown Boys' High School principal Malcolm Williams being served with a dismissal notice from the Gauteng education department has opened wounds for the family of 13-year-old Enock Mpianzi who was swept away in the Crocodile River. 

According to the family's legal representative, the parents are suing for R10 million each.

READ | Enock Mpianzi death: Parktown Boys' High principal's dismissal triggers parents as they sue for R20m

Funeral service of the late Parktown Boys learner Enoch Mpianzi underway at his former school Kensington High School. Photos by Morapedi Mashashe

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