South Africa: What the Law Says On the Parktown Drowning Tragedy

Outside Parktown Boy's High School (file photo).
analysis

How many parents have signed indemnity forms allowing schools to take learners on outings without a second thought -- and are now deciding no more school camps/outings for their kids?

On Friday morning, when I first heard that a boy from Parktown Boys School had gone missing at a school orientation camp, like many others across our country, I held my breath hoping he would be found and returned safe and unharmed to his family.

As a mother, I thought of the family and how desperate and anxious they must be. My own son had entered Grade 8 at a different school in 2019 and had completed a very similar camp that year as part of his orientation into high school.

As a lawyer, there were immediate questions swirling in my head. How could the boy have been missing for an entire night without his absence having been noticed by the school or camp authorities? What was the level of supervision at the camp and during specific activities? Was there any roll call?

Within a few hours, the media reported that the body of the missing boy, whose name we learnt was Enoch Mpianzi, was found. I cannot begin to...

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