Kimberley - A city family is seeking answers after their teenage son fell to his death from a five-storey building.
Nineteen-year-old Ram Erntzen, who was a Grade 10 pupil at Adamantia High School, died on Friday after falling from the building and landing on the windscreen of a car that was parked in front of the Boland flats in Phakamile Mabija Street in Kimberley.
According to his sister, Angela Erntzen-Pearlall, her brother left their home in Flamingo Park to go and visit some friends who lived at the Boland flats.
“He was at home with his girlfriend the entire afternoon watching movies. He did seem a bit quieter than usual but I did not make much of it. They (Erntzen and his girlfriend) sat inside the house and I went about my business.
“During the course of the afternoon, one of his friends came and said they should go to the Boland flats. I had a strong feeling that I should go with them, but his friend said I could not. I insisted that I was going with them but was repeatedly refused. We then went to drop them in De Beers where other friends picked them up and they left for town,” she said.
She could not explain why she insisted she wanted to go with. “I do not usually go out with my brother but I had such a strong feeling that I needed to go with him. I was of course refused. I never expected this to happen,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes.
She said they were later informed about the incident by a family friend.
“A family friend came to the house and told my mother to hurry as my brother had fallen from a building. We hurried to the scene but he was already under the space blanket (dead) when we arrived.”
She said her brother’s friends who were with him prior to the incident could not shed any light on how the incident occurred.
“The friend who came to fetch him from home told us that they had been drinking before the incident. He said that when they saw that he (Erntzen) was drunk, they locked him inside the car to sleep it off. They are not sure how my brother got out of the car and none of his friends saw him entering the building or going to the fifth floor. We do not know or understand how this happened.”
She described her brother as a fun-loving and free-spirited person. “Ram loved music and loved to dance. He also always used to brag about being a very handsome young man,” she laughed.
She said he was very dedicated to his sport and school. “He was a very good rugby player. He was part of his school’s rugby team. He also had a lot of friends and was such an extrovert, who could easily befriend anyone. He found it easy to get along with anyone, which is why he had so many friends.”
Family and friends went to pay their condolences to Erntzen’s family yesterday.
The Northern Cape Department of Education also sent condolences to the family.
Department spokesperson Lehum Ntuane said: “It is with great sadness to learn of yet another untimely death of one of our pupils at Adamantia High School. While the incident happened while schools are on recess, the lives of our pupils are our concern and priority. We urge parents to remain vigilant and exercise caution and care for the well-being of their children.
“The safety of our pupils is of paramount importance to the community. Hence parents and communities should all take responsibility for pupils during and after school hours, as well as during recess periods, by encouraging them to avoid getting involved in activities that put their safety at risk.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family during this difficult time.”
Kimberley police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi said that the police have opened an inquest docket.
“Police are investigating an inquest after a 19-year-old allegedly jumped from a five-storey building and died on the scene.
“At this stage, the circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown and an inquest docket has been opened for investigation,” said Mooi.