Parktown High's Enoch Mpianzi wanted to be a lawyer: Panyaza Lesufi
Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi said 13-year-old Enoch Mpianzi, who died during a school orientation camp at a North West lodge this week, had wanted to be a lawyer.
Lesufi said Mpianzi's family hailed from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The grade 8 pupil lived in Yeoville, Johannesburg, according to the alert issued by authorities.
"I'm told Enoch was a kind person. His mother said when she woke up on the day of the trip, he told her he was not sleeping as he was excited to go on the trip," Lesufi said during a briefing on Friday at Parktown Boys' High School.
"We were all devastated. We thought they would find him alive. It was a difficult task breaking the news to the family. Members of the family cried uncontrollably and are devastated."
The pupils left for the orientation camp on Wednesday.
According to Col Adele Myburgh, the pupils were divided into groups and were given material to build their own rafts with which to go down the Crocodile River.
Myburgh said Enoch was with a group of about 12 pupils on the homemade raft when it overturned.
“It seems the currents were quite strong, and the last time the boy was seen was when some of his friends saw the raft overturn and children fell into the water,” Myburgh said.
Lesufi said he was not aware whether the "people who assisted the children or the children themselves had life jackets or were given safety guidance".
"Around 200 puplis took part in the camp," he said.
The MEC said the community around the area was helpful with the search.
"Farmers and workers literally dropped everything and came to help us. There was a light aircraft organised and the owner started searching."
After the boy's lifeless body was found, Lesufi said: "It was a very difficult process of briefing the family and taking the family to where the body was found, and allowing them to perform family rituals."