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Nyati Bush lodge was 'unaware' of the first drowning incident

Eyewitness News has revealed another drowning incident happened at the same lodge 10 years ago when a grade 12 girl from Kimberley died during a hockey camp.

The Nyati Bush and Riverbreak resort in Brits, North West province on 21 January 2020. The resort is where Parktown Boys' High School learner Enock Mpianzi drowned while on a school orientation camp. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG/BRITS - The lawyer representing the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak lodge said his client was not aware that there has been another child drowning aside from Enock Mpianzi at the camp but said they would make inquiries.

Mpianzi's body was found by police divers in the Crocodile River on Friday following a rafting activity at the Brits camp arranged by Parktown Boys' High School.

Eyewitness News has revealed another drowning incident happened at the same lodge 10 years ago when a grade 12 girl from Kimberley died during a hockey camp.

The Nyati Bush lodge has appointed Daniël Eloff from Hunter Spies Incorporated.

Eloff said there was a change in ownership of the lodge more than three years ago.

EWN pointed out that it’s a family business, meaning while it's currently owned by Anton Knoetze, his father with the same name was his predecessor.

Eloff had this to say: "We will enquire, he lives in Pretoria.”

EWN spoke to two sources who confirmed that Mellony Sias from Adamantia High School in Kimberley was part of a hockey team participating in water activities when she drowned in April 2010.

Last week, Knoetze Junior said Mpianzi's death was an unfortunate accident.

No entry & no answers - Enoch Mpianzi’s family visit NW lodge

'WE STILL DON'T KNOW HOW HE DIED'

Mpianzi's family on Tuesday said they felt deceived by the lodge about what really happened to their son.

The family of the 13-year-old Parktown Boys’ pupil went to the bush camp with the South African Human Rights Commission for a site inspection on Tuesday.

They’ve agreed to be represented by the commission as they try to uncover the events that lead to their son drowning at the school camp last week.

WATCH: Parktown Boys’ parents: We need to hear the facts before criticising

The family of Mpianzi and the SAHRC decided to jump over the fence of the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak camp after they were denied access.

When they got to the bank of the Crocodile River, they found some branches tied with shoelaces and wires.

Mpianzi brother, Yves Kadilo, believes this is one of the rafts made by the boys.

“When we came, the first things we picked up were shoelaces and branches that my younger brother and others had to float on top of.”

GALLERY: Enock Mpianzi's family in emotional visit to Nyati resort

His father, Itamba Guy, told the SAHRC’s Buang Jones they were not really sure where Mpianzi’s body was found.

“The police told us this was a crime area and we as the family, should go back there and wait for them. One or two hours later, they came back to inform us that they found something in the water.”

Guy said to this day, nobody from the camp has told them what happened to their son.

WATCH: 'You cannot take kids to that place' - Enock Mpianzi's father speaks

The lawyer representing the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak lodge said staff at the camp have been sent for counselling in the wake of Mpianzi's drowning.

Mpianzi (13) died in Brits during a water activity as part of an orientation camp arranged by Parktown Boys High for grade 8s.

On Friday, the lodge will be meeting with the Gauteng Education Department where an inspection will be conducted.

The lodge's lawyer, Eloff, said although the family have told the media they're considering legal action they've not yet received any formal notification.

Eloff said the owner of the lodge was "traumatised and shocked" by the tragedy.

“It can’t be an easy thing; you get hundreds of kids visiting your camp and it’s obviously a big shock not only to senior management but to all the people and staff involved at Nyati. The staff had been sent for counselling and I have advised my client to do the same because of the traumatic experience they’ve gone through the past week.”

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