The principal of Parktown Boys’ High School, Malcolm Williams, has been suspended with immediate effect.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says that there was serious negligence on the part of the school and the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak lodge where Enock Mpianzi drowned last week.
Mpianzi was last seen in the water when a raft made by the children capsized during an activity organised by the Nyati Bush and River Break lodge.
Despite attempts by many of his fellow Parktown Boys’ High classmates to tell facilitators and teachers that Mpianzi was missing, they only started searching for the grade 8 boy the following day.
According to Lesufi, the department had not authorised the school trip to the lodge near Brits in North West.
The department has also suspended the officials from the district offices who were working on approving the trip.
STATEMENT FROM PARKTOWN BOYS HIGH SCHOOL
17 January 2020
The Parktown Boys’ High School Grade 8 Orientation Camp took place at Nyathi Bush and River Break in the North West Province. The Grade 8 group arrived at camp on Wednesday the 15th of January. The camp is aimed at introducing new Parktonians to each other and creating an environment which focuses on team work and the achieving of common goals through various activities offered at the camp.
The school’s Headboy, Deputy Headboy and SEC members along with 7 staff members were also present on the camp along with the Headmaster, Malcolm Williams and a Senior Child Development and Protection Consultant, Luke Lamprecht.
In the afternoon the boys were involved in a water activity that was supervised by trained camp facilitators. After the activity there was a hike and supper, followed by a sleep out in the veld.
Late on Thursday morning, it became apparent that a boy had gone missing from the camp. Internal emergency procedures were immediately instituted by camp management, staff and members of the community. The Headmaster contacted the father to alert him to staff concerns.
At 15h20 the Headmaster again contacted the father to confirm that all efforts to locate Enock had failed and shortly thereafter transport was arranged to take the family to the venue. Two trained counsellors from the school accompanied the family.
By this time the SAPS Emergency Services had already been called, including the Search and Rescue unit who at the point assumed control of the search.
On Thursday evening the decision was made to curtail all camp activities for the Friday and return the boys to school following breakfast and a briefing by the Headmaster and the Senior Child Development and Protection Consultant.
At 11h00 on Friday the school was informed of the tragic news that the body of Enock Mpianzi had been found by SAPS Search and Rescue personnel.
The Staff, Learners, SGB, and the Parktonian Alumni express their deepest sympathy to the Mpianzi family following this tragic loss. The school community remains in a state of shock and counselling support has been implemented.
The Alumni of the school have committed to support the family where possible.
Further details will be communicated once more information becomes available.
THE PARKTONIAN FOUNDATION
(IT7988) PBO No: 930026928
20 January 2020
APPEAL FOR SUPPORT – Mpianzi Family
The Parktown family, Old Boys, and greater Alumni community are devastated and heartbroken about the tragic incident which resulted in the untimely passing of Enock Mpianzi, a Parktonian learner, at a Grade 8 orientation Camp last week.
Our deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to Enock’s family and friends during this very tragic and difficult time.
Enock was a Parktown Boy. Rest in Peace Brother.
Appeal for support
In these raw early days, our focus has been to provide support to Enock’s family during this period of terrible loss and heartache.
The school has committed to providing support to Enock’s family and others affected by this tragic incident,andthe PARKTOWN OLD BOY STEERING COMMITTEE has proposed an initiative to provide additional support to the family of Enock Mpianzi.
Reflecting our values, we therefore appeal to all Old Boys, Alumni, Parents and the broader Parktonian Community to band together to assist the family of Enock Mpianzi.
All donations will be ringfenced and used to fund support for the family.
We ask you to please contribute anything you can to assist during this challenging period.
Any and all donations will be sincerely welcomed.
We will keep you regularly updated on the amount raised and how we plan to use it to help the family.
Bank account details:
• Account Name: The Parktonian Foundation Trust
• Account Number: 62363603129
• Bank Name: FNB
• SWIFT Code: FIRNZAJJ
• Reference: Mpianzi
An exhaustive investigation into this tragic event at the Nyathi Bos en Rivier Wegbreek is currently underway, led by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) and the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Whilst we note and appreciate the concerns and questions that have been raised, we appeal to everyone to allow due process to unfold.
Representatives from the Parktown Old Boys are in constant contact with the school and will be appraised of and ensure that any developments are frankly and timeously communicated.
Old Boys Steering Committee