Malema was ‘panicked’ that it could have been his son in the river

Malema was ‘panicked’ that it could have been his son in the river

The EFF CIC Julius Malema visits the family of Enoch Mpianzi, of Parktown Boys High, to convey condolences, 23 January 2020. Picture Tracy Lee Stark

The EFF leader has vowed to seek justice for drowned high school boy Enock Mpianzi.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have vowed to ensure justice and accountability for the Parktown Boys’ High School pupil who drowned during an orientation camp, with leader Julius Malema availing the “best” legal minds and support to the family.

The party leader has said the family will have unlimited access to advocates Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Laurence Hodes at no cost, and offered the party’s assistance with the funeral of the 13-year-old Grade 8 pupil, Enock Mpianzi.

This comes as a Grade 8 pupil recalled to Radio 702 “in graphic detail” how he and others struggled in the water and how they had screamed for help in vain as there was no adult nearby to hear their cries.

Accompanied by a handful of party leaders and supporters, Malema visited Mpianzi’s family home in Malvern, Johannesburg, yesterday to pay his respects.

At least six female relatives, including Mpianzi’s mother, sat gloomily on mattresses laid out in the family living room, with neighbours trickling in to offer their condolences after the arrival of the body in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Malema nodded and occasionally shook his head in disbelief as the grandfather of the deceased, Sebastian Kodiemoka, detailed the tragic events.

When he got to the part about the discovery of his grandson’s lifeless body, he broke down in tears. He explained that they had been helping with the search since Thursday but that on Friday around 10am the police declared the search area a crime scene and cordoned it off.

“We obeyed … around 11am (on Friday), the MEC (Panyaza Lesufi), who remained in the search area, told me that drone cameras had picked up something. We waited for them to pull this thing out and it was later confirmed it was a human body,” Kodiemoka said.

The grandfather said they were told to gather some courage to identify his grandson’s body and that he had to hold Mpianzi’s hysterical mother, Anto, by the hand so she could identify him.

Malema said he was in a state of panic when he learnt of Mpianzi’s drowning at the Nyati Bush Lodge in Brits, North West, during a water activity that was part of their camp courses.

The EFF leader said, as a father of three boys, one of whom was at a school camp at the time, he got really worried.

Malema said it was unacceptable that there is no clarity on why it took so long to notice that Mpianzi, who went missing in the river moments after their arrival at the venue on Wednesday, was missing.

– siphom@citizen.co.za

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