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Enock Mpianzi’s family lawyer prepares summons against implicated parties

Eyewitness News logo Eyewitness News 2020-03-05 Mia Lindeque

a man talking on a cell phone: Anto Mpianzi and Ekila Guy Intamba, the parents of Enock Mpianzi, struggled to hold back their tears during a memorial service at Parktown Boys' High School. © Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN Anto Mpianzi and Ekila Guy Intamba, the parents of Enock Mpianzi, struggled to hold back their tears during a memorial service at Parktown Boys' High School. JOHANNESBURG - The lawyer representing the family of Enock Mpianzi said they were preparing a summons to be served on those found to have acted negligently on the day the 13-year-old boy drowned during a Parktown Boys’ High School camp.

A scathing forensic report was released on Wednesday night with findings against the school and the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge. 

Mpianzi drowned in January when a makeshift raft he and his classmates built overturned in a river.

He was not wearing a life jacket and his body was only found two days later.

Mpianzi’s family lawyer Ian Levitt said they were examining the forensic report in detail and would serve a summons on several institutions, including the Gauteng Department of Education, from next week.

“We’re starting to prepare the summons and a letter of demand has to go out to the MEC because when you institute action against government, you have to give them 30 days’ notice.”

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said as they awaited that summons, he would not oppose it.

“You cannot allocate an amount of money for a loss of life, but whatever is presented to us, we’re not going to defend for the sake of defending.”

Related:

Forensic report reveals how school and camp failed Enock Mpianzi

Action to be taken against those implicated in Enock Mpianzi’s death

The forensic report made damning findings against the school, the school governing body, the principal, teachers and the lodge.

It found they were reckless in the extreme and that what happened to the 13-year-old boy should have been foreseen.

The forensic report will now be handed over to the police.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

The report has found that the school was negligent and reckless and recommended that disciplinary action be taken against teachers.

It found that the teachers failed in their duty to take care of the children.

It also revealed how the teachers didn’t take roll call because the register was left behind on the bus travelling back to Johannesburg.

The South African Democratic Teachers Union said the findings were an embarrassment to the sector and action must be taken.

General secretary Mugwena Maluleke said: “It is really exposing some of the problems that are our children have been exposed to, but also to that fact that the educators who we rely on to look after our children have really not been able to be there."

The report also found that the school had not been given the go-ahead for the camp to take place at the lodge.

It’s recommended that the SGB should be sanctioned.

The Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools' deputy CEO Jaco Deacon said this should be a wake-up call.

“It's a stern warning to all public schools to double check their own procedures to make sure they comply with the safety regulations and their own internal safety policies and make sure that when you do embark on a school activity or tour, that you do have permission for that.”

The Teddy Bear Clinic director Shaheda Omar said although it was the responsibility of the school to ensure that campsites were safe, parents should also have their own checklist.

The police and the family are still busy with their separate investigations.

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