Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge did not refuse and deny the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and Enoch Mpianzi’s family access to the its property, its lawyers have said.
Daniël Eloff, the legal representative of the lodge, told News24 on Wednesday that what happened on Tuesday was “logistical and a mistake”.
On Tuesday, Mpianzi’s family and commission’s officials were forced to climb over the lodge’s gates as it was locked with three padlocks ahead of a planned inspection.
SAHRC acting legal head Buang Jones said the lodge had initially agreed to the inspection, but had later informed them that they were consulting with their lawyers.
Eloff, however, said the SAHRC had contacted the owners via a text message on Tuesday morning, requesting permission to inspect the scene, but at that time the owners were on their way to Pretoria to seek legal advice.
When they arrived in Pretoria, they learnt that the family and the commission were at the lodge.
“Our clients are giving their full co-operation and are more than willing to welcome anyone to their property. It was not the case of they were being denied or refused entry, but the fact that they were not there. They were not present.”
The lawyer said the fact that the lodge was willing to co-operate was evident in the fact that it had sent a letter to SAHRC inviting it for a visit. A response is yet to be received from the commission.
He added that the lodge would also be meeting with the Gauteng Department of Education on Friday morning.
Eloff said the lodge would not be taking any legal action at this point following the trespassing on the property.
“But obviously our client’s rights remain reserved and we will still seek further advice should it become necessary. It’s a tragic event that took place and we need calm heads, not people being fiery and feisty,” he said.
Thirteen-year-old Enoch Mpianzi drowned while taking part in a Parktown Boys’ High School Grade 8 orientation camp last week.
He went missing on Wednesday when a raft he was on overturned in the Crocodile River. His body was discovered on Friday.