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Enock Mpianzi’s death reopens old wounds for two other families

Another pupil, 14-year-old Portia Sowela, also didn’t make it home after attending a sports camp at the lodge in 1999.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Two mothers who've been triggered by news of Enock Mpianzi's drowning at the Nyati Bush and River Break lodge have recalled the pain of losing their own children at that same facility.

The 13-year-old’s body was found in the Crocodile River a day after he was reported missing from the orientation camp arranged by his school, Parktown Boys’ High.

Police, the Human Rights Commission and Gauteng Education Department are investigating the circumstances around Mpianzi's death.

He's the fourth child to drown at the North West lodge.

An emotional Wilhemina Mokomane said over the past few days, she had been reliving the pain she experienced so acutely in September 2009 when her son drowned in a swimming pool at the Nyati Bush and River Break lodge during a school camp.

“My heart is so broken when I see this thing happening with this 13-year-old; it takes me back.”

The 12-year-old primary school pupil’s body was only discovered hours later.

Another pupil, 14-year-old Portia Sowela, also didn’t make it home after attending a sports camp at the lodge in 1999.

Her mother Khethiwe Mthembu confirmed she was told Sowela drowned in the Crocodile River while on a rubber tube with her school friends.

It’s been more than two decades and Mthembu is still waiting for answers.

“I didn’t even ask where the teachers were [when my child died]. I feel like something must be done about this Nyati lodge.”

As more families come forward with chilling accounts of how their children died under questionable circumstances at the lodge, managers there say they would co-operate with the police’s investigation.

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

DEPT CONCERNED BY DEATH OF PUPILS

Basic Education's Elijah Mhlanga said the department was deeply disturbed by the number of children who have died since South African school opened their gates.

Apart from Mpianzi, another pupil Keamohetswe Seboko also drowned in his school's swimming pool in Magaliesburg last week.

On Wednesday, two pupils were killed in what appears to have been a freak accident involving a food truck at their Limpopo primary school.

At the same time, in KwaZulu Natal children from the Inanda township are receiving trauma counselling on Thursday morning; a day after witnessing their teacher being shot and wounded, allegedly by criminals posing as parents.