'Enoch wanted to bring justice to this country,' classmate tells mourners

Pupils attend the memorial service for Enoch Mpianzi at Parktown Boys' High on Tuesday.
Pupils attend the memorial service for Enoch Mpianzi at Parktown Boys' High on Tuesday.
Image: Sunday Times/Alaister Russell

The girl who Enoch Mpianzi took to his grade 7 farewell at Brixton Primary School told mourners at his memorial service on Tuesday that he had big dreams.

“He said he wanted to be a lawyer so that he can bring justice to this country,” said Mpho Molelekeng, 14.

She and Mpianzi had been friends since 2016, when they were placed in the same grade 4 class. Since then they had been in the same class every year. She said Mpianzi helped her with subjects she struggled with.

Dressed in her school uniform, she told mourners at Parktown Boys' High: “I was Enoch’s best buddy. We shared good memories together. He was a kind boy. He used to joke and he never fought with anyone.”

Mpianzi died on his first day of grade 8 at an orientation camp in the North West when he was allegedly swept away in the Crocodile River. A search for him only got under way a day after he disappeared.

"When I heard that Enoch had passed away, it was emotional. I called my teacher ... and confirmed with her. I said, 'My farewell partner, this is not true,'" said Mololekeng.

She recalled attending the farewell and said he had been a perfect gentleman. “At the farewell he treated me like a queen,” she said with a smile.

The last time she spoke to Mpianzi was on December 28, when he asked her on Facebook what high school she would be going to. “He was so excited to come to this school. It surely is a disappointment that Enoch left us just like that,” she added.

Mpianzi’s former schoolmates performed a musical act in his honour. “A seed has fallen,” they sang in isiZulu, swaying from side to side.

Mpianzi’s mother Anto sat on the stage in front of them. She had earlier wept uncontrollably when entering the school hall filled with boys dressed in black and red blazers. Some of them bowed their heads as she cried.

Mpianzi is to be buried later this week.


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