Home Opinion & Features Swift action in Enock tragedy bolsters MEC

Swift action in Enock tragedy bolsters MEC

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Williams has been suspended after reports emerged that teachers were playing games while Enock was being swallowed by the river

THE PAINFUL death of Enock Mpianzi still evokes questions almost a month after the tragic incident and countless reports detailing how this young life was lost.

Apportioning blame on such a highly emotive matter may seem tantamount to adding fuel to the deep anger that has gripped most parents, but somebody needs to be held accountable for the death of the Grade 8 Parktown Boys’ High School pupil.

We commend Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi for not only being the first to make the tragedy public, but also for ensuring that those responsible for the death are held to account.

It is heartbreaking that Enock died on the first day of the school’s camp at Nyathi Bush and River Break Lodge near Brits, in North West.

He died during a water activity and his body was only discovered after two days. It emerged that the fatal delay in searching for him was caused by a teacher who left the roll call on the bus.

The Star newspaper has uncovered more painful details of a cover-up, with the school’s headmaster, Malcolm Williams, and the school’s governing body fingered as leading the alleged deception.

Lesufi did not mince his words when he vowed that heads will roll.

Williams has been suspended after reports emerged that teachers were playing games while Enock was being swallowed by the river.

The boys were left unsupervised after making a bamboo raft tied together with shoelaces.

Fifty boys almost drowned after being overpowered by a strong current.

District officials who handled the school’s application also have a case to answer. Lesufi has suspended them as well.

Premier David Makhura has added his voice and ordered Lesufi to ensure that proper processes are followed when schools go out on camps and activities involving water sports.

Maybe one area that requires attention is initiation at schools.

Yes, these may be decades-long traditions, but they must never be allowed at the risk of our children.

We implore the MEC and premier to revisit these initiations and, if need be, ban them.