'Ten years ago there was a pupil who perished here,' says SAHRC at lodge where pupil drowned
Enock Mpianzi was not the first young person to drown at the resort that hosted the recent school orientation camp that ended in tragedy.
SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Gauteng manager Buang Jones revealed this while he and Mpianzi’s parents stood outside the locked gates of the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge on Tuesday. There were there to inspect the camp, but ended up having to climb over the locked gates.
"We have also been alerted that this is not the first time a young person died on these premises. Ten years ago, there was a pupil who also perished here - and this is something that concerned us,” he said.
Mpianzi, a Parktown Boys' High School pupil, died during an orientation camp for grade 8 pupils last week at the lodge in the North West.
Jones was referring to an incident in April 2010 when a grade 12 pupil drowned at the "Nyati Sports School" between Brits and Rustenburg.
Mellony Sias, from Adamantia High School in the Northern Cape, had been attending a hockey training camp at the time and died under circumstances similar to Mpianzi.
"While the exact details surrounding her death have yet to be confirmed, it is believed that Sias was taking part in a team-building exercise that was supervised by two instructors from the Nyati School, when her dinghy overturned and she disappeared under the water," reported the Diamond Fields Advertiser at the time.
The girl's body was found drifting about 10km from where she was last seen. Her death raised concerns about safety gear such as life jackets and helmets.
The old news report does not mention who the owners of the resort were in 2010, nor whether the sports school, which is nearby, was part of the lodge.
EWN reported on Tuesday that two people confirmed Sias's 2010 death, including a representative from her school.
Nyati Bush and Riverbreak manager Anton Knoetze did not respond to a request for comment.