Enock Mpianzi: 'Amicable settlement agreement' reached, but family want justice served

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Enock Mpianzi's aunt Jeanine Kodiemoka comforts his parents Antonoitte and Guy Mpianzi at his funeral service at Kensington Secondary School on 1 February, 2020 in Johannesburg.
Enock Mpianzi's aunt Jeanine Kodiemoka comforts his parents Antonoitte and Guy Mpianzi at his funeral service at Kensington Secondary School on 1 February, 2020 in Johannesburg.
Gallo Images/Daily Sun/Morapedi Mashashe
  • Enock Mpianzi's family legal representative says the parties reached an amicable agreement.
  • Mpianzi, 13, died while attending a Grade 8 orientation camp in January 2020.
  • Although a settlement has been reached, Mpianzi's father, Guy Intamba, says he is now waiting for the criminal case to get under way so that his son could get justice.

The Gauteng Department of Education and family of 13-year-old Enock Mpianzi, the Parktown Boys' High School Grade 8 pupil who was swept away in the Crocodile River, have reached a settlement agreement, a year and four months after the tragedy.

The family's lawyer, Wikus Steyl, of Ian Levitt Attorneys, confirmed to News24 on Friday that a settlement on "undisclosed terms" was reached with the boy's family by all parties involved.

Steyl said the settlement amount could not be disclosed because of a confidentiality agreement signed by the parties.

"The matter has been settled in full and final. I cannot disclose the amount to you. All we can report is that it has been settled, and the parties have come to an amicable agreement," he said.

Steyl said the civil claim was withdrawn after the matter was "settled in full" with the family.

READ | Enock Mpianzi tragedy: Parktown Boys' High Grade 8 camp was unauthorised

But the journey does not end there, Mpianzi's father, Ekily Guy Intamba, told News24 on Friday.

Intamba said they were waiting with bated breath for the criminal case to get under way so that justice could be served for their son.

"But that [civil settlement] will not give me back my son. What I want is justice - I want to see those who are guilty punished. That's what I am waiting for," he told News24.

Steyl said an update about the criminal case would be issued at a later stage. Mpianzi attended the school's orientation camp at the Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge near Brits in the North West on 15 January 2020.

He was last seen when a makeshift raft he and others were on, overturned in the river, hours after their arrival at the camp, News24 reported. His body was found two days later.

Several stakeholders, including the school's principal, were found to be at fault for the boy's death.

The principal, Malcolm Williams, was dismissed after he was found guilty of allowing the trip to go ahead without approval from the department and for not making sure there was a correct roll call for pupils attending the camp.

In September last year, the boy's parents, Intamba and Anto Mpianzi, issued summons to the department, the lodge and the school's governing body, suing for R20 million, News24 reported.

The summons, which the publication saw, stated wrongful conduct on behalf of the defendants - the department, school and lodge.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the department was hopeful that the out of court settlement would comfort the family.

Lesufi said: "While conscious to the fact that a young life was lost and will never return; we are hopeful that the out-of-court settlement will bring some comfort and closure to the Mpianzi family, who, undoubtedly, have been going through a challenging time since the unfortunate passing of Enoch."

*This article has been updated with MEC Panyaza Lesufi's comment.

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