Enock Mpianzi

The forensic investigation docket into the death of Parktown Boys’ High student Enoch Mpianzi has been handed to the NPA.
Photo: Twitter/@ompathendo

Enoch Mpianzi: Insiders reveal the huge blunder that led to teen’s death

The teachers’ alleged blunders could have contributed to the death of the teen, insiders claim.

Enock Mpianzi

The forensic investigation docket into the death of Parktown Boys’ High student Enoch Mpianzi has been handed to the NPA.
Photo: Twitter/@ompathendo

The death of 13-year-old Enoch Mpianzi is still the subject of controversy and the latest developments around the teenager’s last moments have raised serious questions about the Parktown Boys’ High School teachers who facilitated the Grade 8 orientation camp.

According to insiders who spoke in confidence to reporters from The Star, the Parktown Boys’ High orientation camp was doomed from the moment the 198 pupils disembarked that school bus at the entrance of the Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge.

Huge blunders surface in death of Enoch Mpianzi

When the body of Enoch Mpianzi was found in the Crocodile River on the morning of Friday 17 January, his death was ruled as a drowning. At the time, the school had chalked the incident up as a very unfortunate event that could not have been prevented.

However, a clearer timeline of events began to emerge as more of the Grade 8 campers gave their accounts of what happened between the last time Mpianzi was seen alive, which was on Wednesday 15 January, and Friday, when his body was discovered.

From the evidence that has emerged, below follows a clearer picture of the events that led up to the death of the 13-year-old:

  • 198 Grade 8 pupils disembarked from the school bus at the Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge, near Brits, on Wednesday 15 January;
  • It is alleged that Alex Meintjies, a Parktown Boys’ teacher, at this point, committed an error that would expose why it took so long to recognise that Mpianzi was missing. Meintjies allegedly left the roll-call list, as well as the indemnity forms, in the school bus which had immediately returned to Johannesburg after the drop-off;
  • The first task was for the pupils to get into groups and make rafts using bamboo and shoelaces;
  • It’s alleged 50 pupils fell into the river during the rafting activity;
  • None of the teachers were around to supervise the activity. Instead, insiders claim that two male teachers were playing around, throwing stones in a bucket;
  • Two facilitators jumped into the river to save the remaining 14 pupils who were clutching onto a “mini island”. Mpianzi was one of them;
  • They were told to let go and allow the current to pull them. The facilitators vowed to catch them
  • However, Enoch was not caught. Insiders claim they watched as he drifted away;
  • Roll-call time came and Meintjies only realised then that the list and indemnity forms were missing;
  • Another list was sent back to the camp, which erroneously included ten more names of pupils who had not attended the camp;
  • Names were called out, including Mpianzi’s, and those who didn’t respond were chalked off as non-attendees;
  • Insiders claim a pupil notified facilitators of Mpianzi’s disappearance. However, the cries were ignored; and
  • The school driver returned with the original list on Thursday. It was only discovered then that Mpianzi had been marked as part of the camp group

“This is why the Mpianzi family were called at 11am on Thursday to ask if their son was on the trip. Williams and the SGB are hiding this information from parents, and we think from Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi as well,” the insider told the cited publication.

‘Indemnities are death warrants’ – UDM

In reaction to allegations of a cover-up led by the school, people have called on the Gauteng education department to act decisively against those responsible for Mpianzi’s death.

In a statement, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) lambasted Parktown Boys’ High for forcing the parents to sign indemnity forms. The party’s position is that the teachers were effectively responsible for the children’s lives and the indemnity form grants them the right to “shack their responsibility and leave the children to their own peril”.

“By signing the indemnity, parents are signing death warranties for their children… Udemwo [United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation] calls for the signing of indemnity in schools to be reviewed as this puts the lives of the children at risk with no one taking responsibility. Children are entrusted to the teachers and teachers should be held accountable,” the party exclaimed.