'You don't take shortcuts': Parktown Boys’ parents assured of thorough investigation into camp death

21 January 2020 - 07:38
A grade 8 pupil from Parktown Boys' High School died during a school orientation camp.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo A grade 8 pupil from Parktown Boys' High School died during a school orientation camp.

Parents were not satisfied after a meeting with management of Parktown Boys’ High on Monday evening, the department of education has acknowledged.

Spokesperson Steve Mabona said the meeting was called to explain to parents the processes that were under way at the school and their reasons for suspending classes on Monday to allow counselling to take place.

“It was more about assuring them on what they (counsellors) are doing, to make sure that they support their children.

“They also pleaded for parents to watch their children very closely,” he said.

Mabona said parents raised several concerns, for which the school did not have answers due to the probe that's under way.

“Some [parents] feel they wasted their time.

“Indeed, answers are not there and some would say that you must move with the speed that is required, but remember, with sensitive investigations like this, you don’t rush it, you don’t take shortcuts.

“You make sure you interact with everyone who is involved and everyone who might have been a witness, and make sure you gather information as far as possible.”

The school came under fire after Enock Mpianzi died during a school orientation camp for grade 8 pupils.

The camp took place at Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge in the North West last week. The 13-year-old died after the makeshift raft he had built with 11 other boys capsized in a river swollen by recent rains. The teenager failed to surface and his disappearance allegedly went unnoticed for 17 hours.

His body was found on Friday morning, 3km downstream.

About 200 pupils took part in the camp.

Mpianzi's family is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He lived in Yeoville, Johannesburg.

Mabona said the independent probe would assist the department with “all the answers”.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Monday it would provide legal support to the family.

In a separate incident, 13-year-old Keamohetswe Shaun Seboko was found dead in his school’s hostel swimming pool in Magaliesburg in Gauteng last week.

Mabona said a probe was also underway at Laerskool Bekker.