Family of Enock Mpianzi seeks R20 million settlement from GDE
It’s understood the family is at loggerheads with the Gauteng Department of Education after they refused an initial settlement as compensation for the death of Enock Mpianzi during a school excursion.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article originally stated that the Gauteng Department of Education had offered a R10 million settlement to the Mpianzi family. This is incorrect and the article has since been amended. Eyewitness News apologises for the error.
JOHANNESBURG - The family of 13-year-old Enock Mpianzi is demanding R20 million from the Gauteng Department of Education.
It’s understood the family is at loggerheads with the department after they refused an initial settlement.
The grade 8 pupil drowned in January during an unauthorised Parktown Boys’ High School excursion in the North West.
The teenager was swept away on a makeshift raft built as part of the camp’s water-based activity on the Crocodile River.
An independent forensic investigation into the incident found negligence on the part of the Parktown Boys’ principal, teachers, the camp facilitators and the school governing body.
The Gauteng Education Department and the Mpianzi family have not been able to reach consensus on the settlement amount for the teenager’s death.
The family has indicated it wants a R20 million settlement amount as compensation. They initially sued the department for R10 million.
Speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said although the drowning was tragic, the department couldn’t afford to give the family what they were asking for.
“We tried our level best to persuade the Mpianzi family and their legal firm to accept the offer we presented as a department so we can close this chapter. Unfortunately, we disagreed and the family still insists the department give them R20 million as the settlement. This amount is way beyond what the department is in a position to afford.”
Lesufi said headmaster Malcolm Williams had appealed his dismissal and would remain employed until his appeal process was finalised.
Meanwhile the department says negotiations are under way to reach an out-of-court settlement with the family of 13-year-old Keamohetswe Seboko, who drowned on school premises at Laerskool Bekker on the same day that Mpianzi died.