ACCOUNTABILITY AT THE HEART OF TRUST
The family of the deceased grade 8 learner, Enock Mpianzi, who drowned at the Parktown Boy’s High camp refuses to accept the R10 million settlement offer from the Department of Education after suing the department for the death of their son due to negligence by the school.
The learner drowned at the Nyathi Bush and River Break in North West, on the first day of school during a grade 8 school camp.
The Department of Education was sued for R20 million, but according to Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, the family was offered R10 million settlement which was rejected, and despite the family issuing summons for R20 million, the department cannot afford that.
“Unfortunately, we disagreed and the family still insist that the department give them R20m as the settlement. This amount is way beyond what the department is in a position to afford,” Lesufi said.
The family’s attorney, Wikus Steyl disputed that and claimed that the department wasn’t being truthful about the initial settlement offer that was made.
The department made one settlement offer in July or August for less than 5% of the R10m he (Lesufi) said they offered. The claim has always been for R20m, R10m per parent, so I don’t know where he got his information from,” Steyl said.
In response to Steyl, GDE spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed that the department made an offer which was deemed appropriate as per the merit of the case and case law.