The family of 13-year-old Enoch Mpianzi believes the owners of Nyati Bush and River Break lodge near Brits in North West are hiding the details surrounding his death.
The family was forced to climb over a locked gate at the lodge on Tuesday during an inspection with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
The chapter-nine institution is probing the death of the Parktown Boys’ High School pupil, who had attended a Grade 8 orientation camp last week.
Mpianzi was last seen on Wednesday when a makeshift raft he and other boys had built and were testing overturned on the Crocodile River on the first day of the camp.
They had built their own rafts and some boys, among them Enoch, fell off and scrambled to get back on.
Wearing a flower-print dress and a black doek on her head, Mpianzi’s mother, Antoinette, and the relatives who had accompanied her sobbed as they watched the Crocodile River flowing on Tuesday afternoon.
Mpianzi’s father, Itamba Guy, said finding the lodge locked was questionable and brought more pain to the family as they seek closure. He added that all they wanted was justice and that was why they had accepted the help of the SAHRC.
“It’s very painful. I don’t know how you would feel if you were brought to come view where your loved one died in such conditions,” said Guy.
During the inspection, family members showed the commission’s officials how the search unfolded last Thursday. They also explained what they were told by officials last week.
Pieces of wood which were used to make the rafts could still be seen at the site on Tuesday afternoon.
Some of the self-made rafts were tied with shoelaces.
“Of course they [the lodge] are hiding something because they know that Enoch died on the Wednesday. The very same day they came here. Then they brought us here, took us like fools and tricked us. We are seeking justice,” the boy’s father said angrily.
The family have also questioned why they were not taken to the exact location where Mpianzi’s body was found.
The SAHRC’s Buang Jones said they did not regret climbing over the gate to gain access to the lodge as it was important to visit the scene for the impending legal action the commission would be instituting.
He said the inspection was also important for Mpianzi’s family to inform the commission what they were told from the time they arrived at the scene to the time the boy’s body was seen.
“We have seen the Crocodile River. We were shown sticks that were used [for the rafts]. We still have to verify this with other learners. We hope parents will grant us permission.”
The lodge’s owners had initially agreed to the site inspection, said Jones.
The owners could not be reached on Tuesday to gain access to the property.
News24 was also unable to reach them for comment.
The commission said it would also have a meeting with the parents of pupils who were at the camp to gather more information.
The remains of the teen have been taken from a mortuary in Brits and was transported to Johannesburg.
Funeral arrangements are yet to be released by the family.