Parktown Boys' High pupil: The headmaster emphasised we must not speak to anyone

A grade 8 pupil from Parktown Boys' High has recalled in graphic detail how he and other boys watched Enoch Mpianzi being swept by water.

The boy, whose identity has been hidden for protection, explains how he and his friend met Enoch before they left the school for the camp.

The parents of the grade 8 pupil approached the Eusebius McKaiser Show to share their child's insight into the tragedy.

On Wednesday morning the 15th of January at Parktown Boys' High, I saw a boy standing alone looking lonely. My friend Solly and I went to him to introduce ourselves to him. We instantly formed a bond.

Lizo, Eyewitness

There was no roll call done before we stepped on the bus and none was done before the first activity at Nyati Bush and Riverbreak bush lodge. We then had lunch.

Lizo, Eyewitness

We were split into groups for the first activity, building a stretcher. I was in the same group as Enoch. We were taken to a rugby field and told to build the stretcher and we struggled because some poles kept breaking.

Lizo, Eyewitness

When we were done we were told to race, imagining an emergency. We were then told to take the stretcher to the river. There were no Parktown Boys' teachers at the river, only us grade 8 learners, school prefects and facilitators.

Lizo, Eyewitness

They asked us who could and couldn't swim and those of us who said we could swim were instructed to handle the river task. Enoch identified himself as able to swim. None of us wore life vests, the school had also not asked us to bring any life vest.

Lizo, Eyewitness

RELATED: No life jackets found at Nyati Bush and Riverbreak where Enoch drowned - police

The pupil says the tide was strong and within two minutes the stretcher capsized and they all looked for something to hold on to.

Enoch did not manage to get to the rubber tube. I tried to help him, he seemed stuck in one place trying hard to keep his head above water. I grabbed a pole and tried to pass it to Enoch but I couldn't reach him and the water swept him away and some boys screamed for help but there were no adults in sight.

Lizo, Eyewitness

RELATED: 'Who gives a damn that Enoch Mpianzi's family couldn't afford a life jacket?'

We could have all been swept away. Roll call was done at the hall and my friend Solly raised his hand when Enoch's name was called and the person doing the roll call asked if he was Enoch and he said no, he then moved along. He later said he thinks Enoch did not come to the camp, I told them I saw him struggling in the river. My story of Enoch in the river was not listened to further.

Lizo, Eyewitness

At supper we approached one of the facilitators and told them Enoch is missing, the facilitator was rude and he dismissed us.

Lizo, Eyewitness

Before we left the lodge on Friday, the headmaster addressed us and emphasised that we must not speak to anyone.

Lizo, Eyewitness

Listen to the full interview below...


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