ENOCH Mpianzi slipped from the raft and disappeared into the river as his friend desperately tried to save him.
“I told the facilitator that the last time I saw him he was struggling in the water,” said a boy who survived the ordeal.
“HE DID NOT LISTEN TO MY STORY!”
Yesterday, Mzansi heard what appears to be the truth about the death of young Enoch.
The testimony of Enoch’s friend, who was not identified and who was with him on that fateful day, was heard on talk radio station 702.
Yesterday, during Eusebius McKaiser’s mid-morning show on 702, the testimony of the boy who last saw Enoch alive was played.
The boy, also a grade 8 pupil at Parktown Boys’ High School, said he and his friend reached out to Enoch on the morning of the camp trip when they saw him standing alone.
He said none of the pupils had life vests when they participated in the river activity.
“There were no Parktown Boys teachers at the river, only us grade 8 boys, the school prefects and the camp facilitators,” he said.
“The facilitators and prefects asked who could swim and those who said they could swim were told to handle the river task,” he said.
“Enoch identified himself as able to swim.”
He said none of them wore life vests.
“The school had not told us to bring life vests to the camp,” he said.
The boy said the raft they were on turned over in the strong current.
“Some of us used one hand to hang on to the raft’s rubber tube as it had become loose and used the other hand to paddle. At that moment I felt like I was going to die,” said the boy.
“I saw Enoch struggling, trying to keep his head above water. I grabbed a pole and tried to pass it to him but I couldn’t reach him. The river swept him away.”
He said boys started screaming for help but there were no adults. He said they were swept around the river bank.
“And then I lost sight of Enoch. We could all have been swept away.”
The boy said facilitators were waiting for them a little further down the river.
He said when a roll call was done, his friend raised his hand when Enoch’s name was called.
“The facilitator asked if he was Enoch. When he said he wasn’t, the man moved on to the next name.
“He said he thought Enoch didn’t come to camp. But I told him that the last time I saw Enoch he was struggling in the water. My story was not listened to further.”
He said they tried again but the facilitator was rude and dismissed them. The search only started the next morning after they insisted with a teacher that Enoch was last seen in the river.
“Before we left the lodge on Friday, the headmaster addressed us and emphasised that we must not speak to anyone,” he said.
Enoch’s dad, Guy Intamba, said they still didn’t know the spot where his body was retrieved.
“We don’t know how he died. We feel they’re hiding the truth.
“It hurts that I will never see my son graduating to become a lawyer as he wanted to be,” said Guy.
EFF leader Julius Malema visited Mpianzi’s family yesterday.
He called for criminal charges and suspension of all those involved.
He said they have put together a legal team and the family didn’t have to pay. The family is yet to announce funeral arrangements.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has vowed to act against the school.
He said the law firm appointed by the department to conduct an independent probe has already started.