A forensic report into the death of Enock Mpianzi has found that Parktown Boys’ High School staff, including the headmaster, must be held accountable for the drowning death of the 13-year-old learner.
Lawyer Peter Harris has presented the report commissioned by the Gauteng Department of Education on Wednesday night. The report has been received by Mpianzi’s family as well as the school and union representatives.
The report has described the Nyati Bush Camp’s version of the drowning as a ‘disgraceful falsehood’.
Harris says the report is clear. “So we find that there’s negligence on the part of the school for not having the accurate and correct roll call list of all attendees at that camp, and that the relevant educators should be held responsible and charged and that includes the headmaster as the ultimate commander in chief or the CEO of the school. The fact is that, if the correct roll call list had been used they would have realised 18 hours earlier that a boy was missing”
The report also found that teachers were negligent for failing to call off the river activity when they realised the learners had not been issued with life jackets.
“Our finding is that they quite clearly. They should have been issued life jackets. When we put that to Knoetze of the camp, he said ‘we only issue life jackets for people who go down the river and because this took place in shallow water, we didn’t think that they should have life jackets’. But we know it didn’t take place in shallow water, we know it took place in the river. So we asked him how many life jackets he had at the camp? He said 12. Now there were 204 learners, we find that the camp was reckless in the extreme in allowing boys to go into the river in those conditions.”
In the video below Lawyer Peter Harris says there was a breach of the school’s duty of care:
A post mortem failed to indicate the precise cause of death.
Media kicked out of report briefing
Earlier, the media were not allowed to the briefing by Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi regarding the forensic report into the death of Mpianzi.
Lesufi was forced to comply with parents at the school who unanimously voted that the media be removed at the hall. It remains packed with parents of learners at the school, some of which claim the media has had inaccurate portrayals of what has happened at the school.
“As I said, we live in a democratic society where majority rules and there is a majority view that the media should be allowed to be outside so that this meeting can proceed. I want to concur with that view, but in doing so, we need to apologise to members of the media because they were invited here.”
In the video below Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the department wants to be transparent on the issue of the report: