A woman is suing a water resort near Hartbeespoort for over R8 million after her fiancé died at the resort in 2018.
Water slides at the resort (Photo: Hennops Pride Facebook)
According to claim documents before the High Court in Pretoria, André Etsebeth (36) drowned in the Hennops Pride Waterpark, owned by Hennops Lifestyle Resort (PTY) (LTD), after being injured on a waterslide. His fiancé, Sophia Maria Stemmet (46) alleges he died as a result of the resort’s negligence due to unsafe waterslides (especially the ‘red’ one Etsebeth used) and resort workers’ failure to take sufficient steps to retrieve or rescue the deceased from the bottom of the swimming pool within a reasonable period.
A post-mortem examination found that Etsebeth sustained a blow to the head but ultimately drowned in the swimming pool below the slides. Despite the fact that two lifeguards were on duty, it was Etsebeth’s child who discovered his father’s body at the bottom of the swimming pool.
Stemmet argues that Etsebeth’s death could have been prevented if he was rescued from the pool within a reasonable time. “The incident was the foreseeable result of the negligent breach of the duty of care by the defendant (Hennops Pride) and/or employees acting in the course and within the scope of their employment.” She claims they were negligent by failing to take sufficient steps to ensure that the slides do not injure those who use them, and by failing to draw the public’s attention to the risks, among others.
According to court documents, Etsebeth supported Stemmet and her minor children and paid for another child’s tertiary education.
She is suing Hennops Lifestyle Resort for R8 750 000 for loss of support.
Hennops Pride denied negligence in plea documents before the court. It argues that disclaimers are printed on the back of the entrance tickets. The disclaimer states that visitors enter the resort at their own risk. It also denies that the waterslides are unsafe. It says in court documents that the “red” waterslide used by Etsebeth was safe if used correctly as indicated on instruction signs or by lifeguards.