A probe into the circumstances around 13-year-old Enoch Mpianzi’s drowning during a school camp in January has found his Parktown Boys school in Johannesburg negligent if not reckless in how it conducted activities during the outing.
The forensic report by attorneys Harris Nupen Molebatsi recommends action against the school’s headmaster and teachers who accompanied Grade 8 students on the orientation camp, over their failure to ensure their safety and care during a water exercise, their lack of control over the learners and their use of an incorrect roll call list, among other failings.
Enoch and other boys are believed to have been on a make-shift raft which overturned on the Crocodile River in the North West province. Enoch’s body was found two days later.
“We find that there is an element of contributory negligence in respect of the circumstances that, ultimately, led to the death of Enock (SIC) Mpianzi,” the report released late on Wednesday said.
It found the camp operators Nyati Camp reckless and negligent with regards to the safety and care of learners during the water exercise, the route followed by the learners and the failure to issue life jackets to the students.
Parktown Boys’ school governing body (SGB) did not escape censure, with the report finding it responsible in relation to the camp taking place without “the requisite authorisation”.
“In addition, given the history at the school in relation to the lack of supervision at school camps, which is so necessary, and giving consideration to the provisions of the Parktown Boys High School safety policy, the SGB should have ensured that the school management placed the necessary emphasis on taking steps to ensure that the Grade 8 learners were supervised at all times,” the report said.