Enoch Mpianzi's family sues Gauteng education dept for R20 million

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Enock Mpianzi.
Enock Mpianzi.
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  • Enoch Mpianzi's family is suing the Gauteng education department for R20 million.
  • MEC Panyaza Lesufi said they gave the family an offer to settle the matter, but they rejected it.
  • The department is challenging the lawsuit.

Lawyers representing the family of Enoch Mpianzi have served the Gauteng education department with a R20 million lawsuit.

MEC Panyaza Lesufi revealed on Sunday they had received a summons from the Mpianzi family's legal representation.

Lesufi said they had given the family an offer to settle matter, which was rejected.

"They have issued us summons, demanding R20 million," said Lesufi.

Lesufi said they are opposing the lawsuit.

"… we don't want to oppose cases for the sake of opposing. We really believe we can persuade each other and use acceptable figures that the courts have pronounced. There have been lots of litigations before.

"We can take court cases, analyse (them) and find a solution. We don't want to add and prolong pain. We don't want to attach a figure to a life of a human being. We know that the courts have pronounced on these matters before and we are using that as a benchmark.

Willing

"If we have to be persuaded beyond the benchmark, we are willing to do that, but it mustn't be figures that we really believe are unreasonable. We are not the only institution here.

"… I am still convinced that we can arrive at an acceptable figure, so that we close this chapter and assist the family to find closure," said Lesufi.

Mpianzi, 13, died after being swept away by a heavy current in the Crocodile River during a Parktown Boys' High School Grade 8 orientation camp held at Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge in Brits, North West, on 15 January.

His body was found two days after disappearing when a makeshift raft he and other pupils were riding overturned in the river.

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

Meanwhile, the dismissed Parktown Boys' High School principal, Malcolm Williams, is challenging his dismissal.

Lesufi said Williams remains in the department's employ until his appeal is finalised.

Williams was dismissed after being found guilty on three charges of misconduct following Mpianzi's death.

Lesufi said they also presented an investigative report to the Seboko family on 6 November, into the circumstances surrounding the death of their son, Keamogetswe Seboko, who died in January 2020 after drowning in a swimming pool at Laerskool Bekker in Magaliesburg.

"Subsequently, our legal team visited the family for a settlement on the matter, and we continue to negotiate," said Lesufi.

Seboko drowned on 15 January during a school swimming activity and his naked body was found at the bottom of the school's swimming pool.

Lesufi said their investigation found the school was negligent.

He said, on the day Seboko drowned, female pupils were supposed to swim first - but, instead, boys went into the water first.

The report also revealed "serious inconsistent reports" from the principal and teacher attending to the pupils at the time.

Lesufi had previously threatened to take disciplinary steps against all officials allegedly involved.

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