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Parktown Boys’ High principal fired for tragic death of Enoch Mpianzi

The drowning of 13-year-old Enoch Mpianzi during an unauthorised Parktown Boys’ High School excursion has seen the principal, Malcolm Williams, get fired by the Gauteng education department.

On Monday, the department confirmed that Williams was found guilty of two of the three charges he faced regarding the January grade 8 camp at the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak lodge in North West, where Enoch died as a result of negligence. 

The department said Williams had been found guilty on the first allegation because he did not seek prior approval from the education department before the 198 grade 8 boys went on the excursion.
On the second charge, Williams failed to ensure that correct roll-call procedures were followed.
He was cleared of the third charge — that he endangered the lives of the learners by disregarding clause 8E of the Regulations for Safety Measures at Public Schools, in that he failed to ensure that learners were provided with life jackets. The resort had provided life jackets.

“It is paramount to note that the principal was found guilty of the first two allegations, and subsequently not guilty of the third allegation. The presiding officer has, after careful consideration of mitigating and aggravating circumstances, dismissed him accordingly,” the department said in a statement.

Williams has the option to appeal his dismissal. 

The roll-call list and indemnity forms were reportedly left on the hired bus that returned to Johannesburg after dropping the learners off at the resort.  

Williams was mentioned in the forensic report commissioned by Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi as being part of a cover-up into alleged negligence, which included that the teachers were playing a game of throwing stones into a bucket while the boys were left unsupervised while making bamboo rafts tied with shoelaces. 

Enoch succumbed to the strength of the current. His body was found a day later because Williams only discovered Enoch was on the trip when roll-call list and indemnity forms left on the bus were found.The school made headlines when the water polo coach, Collan Rex, was found guilty in  November 2018 of 156 charges of sexual and common assault and sentenced to 23 years’ imprisonment.

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Khaya Koko
Khaya Koko is a journalist with a penchant for reading through legal documents braving the ravages of cold court benches to expose the crooked. He writes about social justice and human-interest stories. Most importantly, he is a card-carrying member of the Mighty Orlando Pirates.

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