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Sunday, December 5, 2021

GDE and Mpianzi family reach agreement out of court


The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has reached an out-of-court settlement with Enock Mpianzi’s family.

Enock went missing on Wednesday 15 January during a ‘water activity’ at the school’s annual Grade 8 camp. The excursion was planned by Parktown Boys High School but had not been authorised by the provincial department. 

Reports said a makeshift raft Enock and fellow pupils had built in an exercise capsized in the Crocodile River.

Following the incident, the school’s principal Malcolm Williams was dismissed after he was found guilty of going ahead with the excursion without informing the GDE. 

At the time Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said there was serious “recklessness and negligence” on the part of the school and the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak lodge where Enock passed.

In November 2020, the Mpianzi family requested the GDE to pay them R20 million in compensation for the death of their son.

It is not clear what the family settled for out of court which will not be made public after the family signed a confidentiality clause. 

“A settlement on undisclosed terms has been reached with the boy’s family with all parties involved, however I cannot disclose the amount,” said family lawyer Wikus Steyl.

Steyl said the civil claim was withdrawn since an agreement was reached. 

“While conscious to the fact that a young life was lost and will never return; we are hopeful that the out-of-court settlement will bring some comfort and closure to the Mpianzi family, who, undoubtedly, have been going through a challenging time since the unfortunate passing of Enoch” said Lesfui. 

This settlement was in a civil matter, but Mpianzi’s family is still pursuing a criminal case.

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