3 grieving Gauteng families await justice from the state

The families of Enock Mpianzi, Collins Khosa and Nathaniel Julies lost their loved ones in 2020, allegedly at the hands of the state.

FILE: Anto Mpianzi and Ekila Guy Intamba, the parents of Enock Mpianzi, struggled to hold back their tears during a memorial service at Parktown Boys' High School on 29 January 2020. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - At least three Gauteng families have carried their heartache into 2021 after losing loved ones - not to COVID-19, but allegedly at the hands of the state.

Almost a year ago to the day, Parktown Boys’ High pupil Enock Mpianzi drowned in the Crocodile River while taking part in an orientation camp arranged by his school.

Collins Khosa died in Alexandra in April after a violent confrontation with the army at his home in the early days of lockdown, while three police officers are now facing criminal charges over the August shooting in Eldorado Park of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies.

This has left three grieving families in Gauteng with serious trust issues when it comes to government.

Julies' uncle Cyril Brown said they had lost all faith in the state.

READ: Court affirms state has strong case against Julies murder accused

It’s been five months since the teen, who had Down syndrome, was shot dead near his home and Brown said they were sceptical that they would get justice.

“People say that we are his voice, but I feel that we are letting him down.”

WATCH: Bail denied for cops accused of killing Nathaniel Julies

'A CONSTANT NIGHTMARE'

The lawyer for Mpianzi's parents, Ian Levitt, said his clients were living in a constant nightmare - with the death of their child haunting them every day.

“Whether they are sleeping or they are awake, it’s a constant nightmare that never ends. And will never end.”

The 13-year-old 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.

GALLERY: Tears and tributes at Enock Mpianzi memorial

Khosa's lawyer Wikus Steyl said this December was particularly tough on his client's family who were still waiting for closure around his death.

“I hope any settlement discussions with the minister can be finalised in the first half of the year so that the family knows they can put this behind them.”

READ: ‘It’s been difficult without Collins’ – Khosa’s partner says she lives in fear

Both the Khosa and Mpianzi families are hoping to get government to account for the deaths of their loved ones.

The Mpianzi family is suing the state for R20 million, while the Khosa family is hoping to get R60 millio in compensation.

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