Lodge 'should be embarrassed' over locking out Enoch's parents: Malema

'That’s not how we treat mourning families in our country'

22 January 2020 - 19:41 By Nonkululeko Njilo
EFF Leader Julius Malema visited the family of Enoch Mpianzi, on January 22 2020 at their home in Malvern to convey condolences to the family whose son drowned during a Parktown Boys High School orientation camp on January 15 2020.
EFF Leader Julius Malema visited the family of Enoch Mpianzi, on January 22 2020 at their home in Malvern to convey condolences to the family whose son drowned during a Parktown Boys High School orientation camp on January 15 2020.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

EFF leader Julius Malema says the owners of the lodge in the North West where Enoch Mpianzi died last week "should be embarrassed" after the family of the grade 8 pupil were met with locked gates at the property on Tuesday.

“We really apologise on their behalf. That’s not how we treat mourning families in our country [or] continent. We give them some level of respect … When the mother had to jump gates, get carried over fences … the owners of that resort should be embarrassed," he said. 

Malema was speaking at the family's home in Malvern, Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

He hailed the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for entering the property with the family - despite the move being criticised on social media as trespassing.

“I want to thank the human rights commission for zooming in swiftly into the space and making sure this matter receives the attention it deserves,” he said.

Daniel Eloff from law firm Hurter Spies on Wednesday refuted allegations that the family and commission were denied access, saying they had not scheduled an appointment at a convenient time.

But Malema said protocols should have been put aside so the family could grieve and heal. He said the involvement of lawyers and procedures only "worsened the pain". 

“When people are mourning, certain procedures must be put aside to allow them to grieve their own, the best [way] they know how,” he said.  

Malema also praised Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who went to the lodge when reports first emerged that Mpianza was missing. 

“We also thank the MEC for being there, for making sure that indeed the country is informed of ... the developments. Very few authorities respond in a manner he did. The MEC acted responsibly and we want to celebrate him for that. He was there with the family … Many of his colleagues can learn from him.”

The EFF called for the lodge and school to be held accountable to prevent similar incidents and restore the dignity of Parktown Boys’ High.  

“There is something wrong in that particular school ... We have a responsibility to make sure that we restore that school to its former glory … We can only do that if someone takes full responsibility. Heads must roll. Someone should be held accountable.”

Malema said he would raise the issue in parliament to ensure Mpianzi’s death was not in vain.

“We must ensure that he becomes the last person to be lost in the manner we lost him.”


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