Nyati Lodge owners deny Parktown Boys pupil’s family access to premises

2020-01-21 15:12

The family of the late Parktown Boys’ High pupil, Enock Mpianzi were dealt yet another shocking blow when they were denied access to the Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge in the North West on Tuesday.

The family was accompanied by officials from the SA Human Rights Commission to the lodge to get answers from the owners of the camp site where Enock drowned during a school trip last Wednesday.

The delegation resorted to scaling the fence to gain entry onto the premises.

SAHRC’s Gauteng manager Buang Jones said that the Nyati Bush and River Lodge was obstructing justice after it refused to let Enock Mpianzi’s family onto its premises.

The lodge is where the 13-year-old Grade 8 pupil at Parktown Boys High died last week after he drowned in the Crocodile River during a water activity with his schoolmates.

Jones said they had notified the owner ahead of the visit on Tuesday.

“We received a text [message] from a lady called Marie Leis that the owner had agreed that we can come to the premises and just a short time ago, we called the owner who said he will confirm with his lawyer.

“We view this as an obstruction of the work of the Human Rights Commission,” Jones said.

“Nyati Lodge remains a crime scene and we requested the police to accompany us for our safety and for them to assist us in collecting information around circumstances that led to the death of Mpianzi,” Jones said

“It has also come to our attention that a pupil died in the same lodge about 19 years ago and we will bring the lodge to the attention of the department of tourism,” Jones said.

On Monday, the SAHRC officials met with the Mpianzi family to discuss the possibility of the organisation legally representing them following the teenager’s tragic death, an offer the family accepted.

Enock was last seen on Wednesday when a makeshift raft he and other boys were on overturned in the Crocodile River.

In a statement on Friday, the school said it was only late on Thursday morning that everyone realised a boy was missing. Police were informed after 3pm that day and a frantic search ensued.

Police later found that Enock had drowned during the school’s orientation camp.

On Tuesday, Jones said that SAHRC would consider getting a subpoena for the lodge to appear before the court.

“We will consider issuing a subpoena to compel the owner [of the lodge] to appear before the commission.” Jones said.

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March 29 2020