Enock Mpianzi’s family would need to consider the complete forensic report into his death before they consent to its public release, its legal representatives told News24.
The Gauteng education department was supposed to release the report into the death of the 13-year-old Parktown Boys’ High School pupil on Thursday evening. But the release was postponed just two hours before it was supposed to take place.
Speaking to News24, lawyer Ian Levitt said Mpianzi’s relatives would first consult with the department and its lawyers to provide their input. He said the family would need to consider the report first before deciding whether to give their blessing.
“The MEC (Panyaza Lesufi), quite correctly, asked my clients for their blessings to release the report once the family has seen [it]. It’s obviously going to be harrowing as to the contents and details. They will or not give their blessings for the report to be released,” he said.
However, that decision will be made once the report is in its final form.
On Thursday evening, Lesufi said the release of the report was postponed.
“Indeed, after a consultation with the Mpianzi family, we find it to be insensitive to release the report without their blessings. Subsequent to our meeting today, we all agreed that the next session will be held on 27 February 2020,” said Lesufi.
The parties agreed to meet again next Thursday 27 February.
Mpianzi was swept away in the Crocodile River while attending a Grade 8 orientation camp at Nyati Bush and River Break lodge near Brits in North West on 15 January.
The department and the school were widely criticised following the incident. The department commissioned an independent forensic report into the events at the camp.
This, after it said there were “inconsistencies in alleged facts”.
A preliminary report, which was released after Mpianzi’s body was recovered, found that the department had not given the school the necessary authorisation for the trip.
This led to the suspension of the school’s headmaster, Malcolm Williams, and the district officials who handled the application for the trip.