Nyati lodge owner locks out Human Rights Commission officials

Enoch Mpianzi's family members waiting outside Nyati Bush and Riverbreak camp site where Human Rights Commission is expected to conduct a site inspection in Brits, North West.
Enoch Mpianzi's family members waiting outside Nyati Bush and Riverbreak camp site where Human Rights Commission is expected to conduct a site inspection in Brits, North West.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE/Sowetan

South African Human Rights Commission have accused Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge outside Brits in North West of obstructing their job as the commission.

This is after the owner of the lodge refused to open the gates despite numerous calls from the SAHRC. Accompanied by police and family members of Enoch Mpianzi, the SAHRC officials waited outside the locked entrance of the lodge earlier on Tuesday.

The lodge is where Enoch, a 13 year old grade 8 pupil at Parktown Boys High, died last week after he fell into the Crocodile River during a water activity with a group of schoolmates.

SAHRC provincial manager Buang Jones said they had notified the owner that the commission will be visiting the lodge on Tuesday.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) accused the owner of Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge in Brits, in the North West, of obstructing their work on Tuesday January 21 2020. The commission's delegation, accompanied by Enoch Mpianzi’s family, was locked out of the property after a site visit was reportedly arranged. Mpianzi drowned at the lodge during a rafting activity with other Parktown Boys’ High pupils.

"It was really out of courtesy and she agreed for us to come but now it's a whole different story. She said she is going to consult with her lawyers and we view this as an obstruction to our job as the commission. Her actions demonstrate an uncaring attitude," Jones said.

He said in terms of the law they should be permitted to enter any premises in order to do their job as the commission.

"Nyati lodge remains a crime scene and we have requested the police to accompany us for our safety and for them to assist us in collecting information around circumstances that led to the death of Mpianzi. It has also come to out attention that a learner died in the same lodge about 10 years ago and we will bring the lodge to the attention of the department of tourism," Jones said.

He said their presence as the SAHRC will not compromise the rights of Nyati lodge.

"We will consider issuing a subpoena to compel the owner to appear before the commission. But for now we will wait outside and we will jump [over the fence] if we have to," Jones said.

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