The much-anticipated forensic report on the drowning of Grade 8 Parktown Boys’ High School pupil Enock Mpianzi has revealed “wrongdoing by those that have been given the mandate to take care of our children”.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who previewed some of the findings in the report, said: “We received the report over the weekend. I don’t want to go into details but it’s quite clear that there is lots and lots of wrongdoing by those that have been given the mandate to take care of our children.”
Lesufi was speaking at a media briefing at the National Press Club in Pretoria on Wednesday where he was part of a panel that addressed problems facing public schools, especially in Gauteng.
He is expected to release the report at the University of the Witwatersrand on Thursday evening. He said he would hand it over to Mpianzi’s family, the provincial government, teacher unions, parents of pupils at the school and the general public.
Mpianzi, 13, was swept away in the Crocodile River while attending a Grade 8 orientation camp at Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge near Brits in the North West on January 15.
He was last seen when a makeshift raft he and other boys were on overturned in the river, hours after they arrived at the camp.
The teen’s death grabbed the nation’s attention when the school’s and the department’s safety measures were questioned.
After a preliminary report was released shortly after the incident, the school’s headmaster and district officials were suspended with immediate effect.
Fifteen pupils have died since schools opened in the province in January.
Lesufi said while the department had identified firm interventions to stem pupil deaths, there was room for an integrated approach which included calls for prayer.
“That does not mean we have exhausted all processes that need to be undertaken. That is why I also bring the traditional element. My inbox is inundated with people coming with ideas. It’s an integrated approach we will utilise,” Lesufi said.
He added that the report into the death of Grade 7 pupil Keamohetswe Shaun Seboko, 13,who drowned in the hostel swimming pool at Laerskool Bekker, also on January 15, would also be released and made public soon.