TIMELINE: Child drownings at Nyati date back to 1999
Between 1999 and 2020, at least 5 children have drowned during school camps at the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak venue.
The death of 13-year-old Parktown Boys’ pupil Enock Mpianzi at the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak resort on 15 January has re-opened old wounds for at least four other families who lost children in drowning incidents at the Brits venue.
After the news of Mpianzi’s death at Nyati, other families came forward to share how their children had also drowned on school camps at the same lodge.
1999 14-year-old Portia Sowela from Northview High School drowned in the Crocodile River while on a sports tour at Nyati Bush and Riverbreak. Her mother Khethiwe Mthembu told EWN she was told that there were no teachers supervising while children were on tubes on the river.
2002 Grade 10 pupil Tuso Moalusi from Malvern High School drowned in a pool while on a sports camp at Nyati.
2009 A grade 6 primary school pupil (12) from a Springs school drowned in pool at Nyati.
2010 In April Mellony Sias from Adamantia High School in Kimberley, who was part of a hockey team participating in a water activity held by Nyati lodge, drowned in the Crocodile River.
2020 13-year-old Parktown Boys’ High School pupil Enock Mpianzi drowned in the Crocodile River on 15 January while attending an orientation camp for grade 8s. Mpianzi's body was only found by police divers two days later.
Police divers during the search for Parktown Boys' High School pupil Enock Mpianzi. Picture: @Lesufi/Twitter
However, Daniël Eloff, the lawyer representing Nyati, said his client Anton Knoetze was not aware that there had been any other incidents of a child drowning at the camp aside from Mpianzi.
Eloff said there was a change in ownership of the lodge more than three years ago.
Eyewitness News pointed out that it’s a family business, started in 1995 by Anton Knoetze, his father with the same name.
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Education Department said it was only aware of two children who drowned at the lodge, namely Mpianzi last week and Sias in 2010.