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The Enyobeni Tavern of death – a mystery to unravel

By Neelam Rahim

The Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park in East London, where 21 teenagers died over the weekend, remains under police supervision, and therefore the community remains in shock after the tragedy.

Seventeen teenagers were confirmed dead on the scene, while four others died in hospital.

The explanation for their deaths has not yet been determined.

Organizer Sifiso Matinise said teenagers weren’t allowed to be inside the tavern.

He claimed that they pushed their way inside the packed venue: “Although they let a number of those that appear to be slightly older in, the kids, especially those that are said to be 13, are those who forced their way in and pushed the bouncers. I feel that’s how they came.”

The youngest victim who died inside the packed venue was 13 years old.

A forensic team has been browsing the Enyobeni Tavern location to grasp what materialized.

The authorities have said there were no visible injuries on the bodies of the deceased, so a crush seems an unlikely explanation.

Some have said the victims were poisoned, but this can be not confirmed.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said that the kids seemed to have collapsed while dancing or sitting at tables, but the precise reason behind their death isn’t known.

The youngsters appear to have died briefly, with bodies found on the ground or still at their tables.

Parents are identifying the teenagers, with the Eastern Cape Health Department saying on Monday afternoon that only 16 of the bodies had been identified, leaving five to be claimed.

There are calls for the Eastern Cape government to manoeuvre speedily in determining the psycho-social counselling needs of youngsters who were schoolmates and friends of the victims.

Chairperson of the parliamentary committee on education and technology, sports, arts and culture, Elleck Nchabeleng, said this was an unprecedented incident.

He said that it underscored the importance of vigilance from parents when youngsters attend events where there was no parental supervision.

The police have concerned patience, but the parents want answers.

Nchabeleng said everything should be done to carry whoever was accountable for the incident.


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