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NW lodge management: Mpianzi was not wearing life jacket

A manager at the Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge says pupils at the camp were not wearing a life jackets as they were only supposed to have been in the shallow water.

Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge. Picture: Ahmed Kajee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The manager of a lodge in Brits where a high school boy drowned says no pupil was forced to take part in the water activity.

Grade 8 pupil Enoch Mpianzi from Parktown Boys High School attended an orientation camp on Wednesday, where the children were told to build their own rafts in groups.

The police say it appears Mpianzi was caught up in a strong current and a full investigation into the circumstances are now underway.

Manager at the Nyati Bush and River Break Lodge, Anton Knoetze has told Eyewitness News many children did not participate in the water activity because they did not feel confident.

"They say he was not a strong swimmer, so maybe it was a little bit of peer pressure. When the first group started panicking, we stopped the activity and moved on to something else."

Knoetze says all the boys were taken out of the water after the raft capsized.

He says school staff started to make sure all the children were accounted for.
"The school teachers and the principal were calling around and searching, and we went on with our activities because we don’t know the children and their names.”

The Lodge says Mpianzi was not wearing a life jacket, as they were only supposed to have been in the shallow water, however some children refused to listen.

‘NO ONE IS TO BLAME’

The manager of a lodge in Brits where a high school boy drowned has told Eyewitness News that it was an unfortunate accident, and no one is to blame.

Knoetze says the children were told to stay in the shallow water. However, he says Mpianzi's group moved away from the designated area.

He says school staff started to count the boys - but many children whose names were on the list didn't pitch – which made the process for the school even harder to establish whether everyone had been accounted for.

Knoetze says the teachers and principal are in charge of making sure all children are accounted for, and acknowledges that this was an unfortunate accident.