Enock Mpianzi, the 13-year-old Parktown Boys’ High School pupil who went missing at a Grade 8 orientation camp near Brits in North West, was last seen on Wednesday when a makeshift raft he and other boys were on overturned on the Crocodile River.
The Grade 8 group arrived at the lodge on Wednesday and took part in a “water activity” that involved building their own rafts, according to North West police spokesperson Colonel Adele Myburgh. The pupils were divided into groups of between five and six and took to the water on their self-built rafts.
“It appears there was a very strong current following recent heavy rain in the area. From what we understand, a number of boys fell from the raft and scrambled to get back on to it again. That was the last time [Enock] was seen.”
Myburgh said the incident happened at around 15:00.
“We are continuing the search in the area around the river.”
The school issued a statement on Friday morning stating that the Grade 8 group had arrived at the camp on Wednesday.
“On Thursday morning, it was realised that a boy had gone missing from the camp. Emergency procedures have been instituted by camp management and are being assisted by members of the local community and the SAPS Emergency Services,” the statement read.
“Police search-and-rescue are on site and are already at work in the area of the river where a water activity was held after the boy’s arrival. The parents of the missing boy are at the venue.”
The school said the search was continuing.
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi earlier said the camp had been cancelled and that the remaining pupils would be returning to the Johannesburg-based school by 11:00 on Friday. Lesufi will visit the school at 13:00 on Friday.