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Two more families say their children drowned at Nyati lodge

The facility is in the spotlight, with the circumstances surrounding Enock Mpianzi’s death still being questioned.

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 - In the wake of claims and revelations regarding the death of Enock Mpianzi, two more families have come forward detailing to Eyewitness News how their children also died while on camp at the Nyati Bush and River Break lodge.

The facility is in the spotlight, with circumstances surrounding Mpianzi’s death still being questioned.

The Parktown Boys' High School pupil drowned in the Crocodile River last week during a school orientation camp. He was not wearing a life jacket.

VIDEO: Parktown Boys' pupil: They ignored me when I said Enock was missing

Portia Sowela was 14-years-old when she drowned in the Crocodile River.

She and her schoolmates were part of a sports camp in 1999.

It's more than two decades later and for Sowela's mother Khethiwe Mthembu, the memories of that fateful day are still vivid.

"She drowned and apparently there were no teachers supervising. It was only the children at the river. The children told my daughter that were going to get help for her and when they came back they couldn't find my daughter."

Lesego Phethela, who was part of the group over a decade ago, recalled how she watched on while pupils struggled to swim in the river.

“I remember with Portia’s incident, we could see how she was struggling – there were four other girls - and I couldn’t see where she disappeared to but I saw the other three girls who were saving each other’s lives,” Phethela said.

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

Wilhemina Mokomane also lost her son in a swimming pool at the Nyati Bush and River Break lodge.

She's still waiting for answers around her 12-year-old son's death in September 2009.

"The teachers told me: 'Mama, we cannot call the police because the owner of the place told us we are not allowed to call the police. The owner said that he would look himself.'"

On Tuesday, Eyewitness News also reported on another pupil Mellony Sias, who drowned in the Crocodile River while participating in water activities at the same lodge in 2010.

Management at the lodge earlier said that it was not aware of other deaths, with the owner claiming that he took over the business three years ago from his father.

VIDEO: No entry & no answers - Enock Mpianzi’s family visit NW lodge

Additional reporting by Thando Kubheka.

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