There should have been a headcount on the pupil’s return from the activity, EFF leader Julius Malema told the family of Enock Mpianzi while visiting the family to pay his respects on Wednesday.
Malema stressed that Enock’s disappearance should have been identified “with immediate effect,” as there remained “no clarity as to why it took so long [to find him]”.
“The resort and school have neglected the school children. Someone needs to take responsibility.”
Mpianzi, one of the school’s new batch of grade 8 pupils at Parktown Boys’ High School, drowned during an orientation camp last Wednesday.
Mpianzi went missing after a raft was overturned in the Crocodile River. He was only reported missing the following day and his body discovered on Friday.
An expert in occupational health and safety industry, who asked to remain anonymous in order to protect his company, said the school’s principal was “ultimately accountable” for the tragedy as the children were under the care of him and the teachers.
Although investigations were ongoing, he said there remained a lot of variables that needed to be considered, including the management of potential risks and whether they were controlled or not.
Meanwhile, an organisation, Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) has called for the school’s principal Malcolm William to be suspended.
“Why, if a roll call was done immediately after the water activity, wasn’t anyone sent back to the river and a thorough search and rescue initiated?” asked WMACA director Miranda Jordan.
“It has been reported that the principal called the family to ask if Enoch had been on the trip. We are calling for the immediate suspension of the headmaster, pending the proper criminal investigation into the matter.”
(Compiled by Gopolang Moloko, background reporting by Chisom Jenniffer Okoye)