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'The river swept him away' - Enock Mpianzi's classmate gives eyewitness account

22 January 2020 1:02 PM
Tags:
Enock Mpianzi
Parktown Boys' High School
The Eusebius McKaiser Show
A grade 8 boy who befriended Enock Mpianzi on the school orientation camp describes in detail what happened on the day he drowned.

This article has been updated.

The Eusebius McKaiser Show has aired an eyewitness account from a grade 8 pupil from Parktown Boys' High school who was with Enock Mpianzi in his final moments in the Crocodile River.

Mpianzi's body was found in the river last week after a water activity at the Nyati Bush and River Break lodge as part of a school orientation camp.

There are growing calls for transparency in the case with many questions around the boy’s death unanswered.

RELATED: Enock Mpianzi's uncle says family awaiting outcome of autopsy

The learner describes in graphic detail how he and other Parktown Boys’ High pupils watched the boy struggle in the water before he was swept away by a strong current.

He says that they all screamed for help but there was no adult nearby to hear them.

Here are some of the revelations from the young boy's testimony:

  • No teachers present at river during activity

There were no Parktown Boys’ High School teachers at the river. Only us Grade 8 boys, the school prefects and camp facilitators.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil
  • Enock said he could swim

The facilitators and prefects asked who could and could not swim. Enock identified himself as able to swim.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil
  • No lifejackets issued, requested or worn

No life vests were issued to any of us. None of us wore life vests. The school also had not asked us to bring any life vests.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil
  • Enock did not manage to get on rubber tube when the raft/stretcher capsized

I saw Enock struggling. He seemed stuck in one place, trying to keep his head above water.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil
  • What could have been Enock's last moments

I grabbed a pole and tried to pass it to Enock but I couldn't reach him. The river swept him away.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil

Some boys started screaming for help as they saw, like me, Enock's struggle. But there was no adult in sight.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil
  • Staff and facilitators initially ignored pleas that Enock was missing

The person doing the roll call says he thinks Enock did not come to the camp but I told him Enock was at the camp and the last time I saw him, he was struggling in the river.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil

My story about the river and Enock struggling was not listened to further... We approached a camp facilitator to tell them Enock was missing. The facilitator was rude and dismissed us.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil
  • When the camp was cut short, the principal told boys to not to speak to anyone

Before we left the lodge, the headmaster addressed us and emphasised that we must not speak to anyone. Later that day, I heard the news that my new friend was no longer alive.

'Lizo' - Parktown Boys’ High pupil

The parents of the witness contacted The Eusebius Mckaiser Show wanting to share their child's account of events.

EWN journalist Mihlali Ntsabo narrates the learner's testimony.

Names have been changed to protect the identities of the pupils.

Listen to the eyewitness account on The Eusebius Mckaiser Show:


22 January 2020 1:02 PM
Tags:
Enock Mpianzi
Parktown Boys' High School
The Eusebius McKaiser Show

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