21 children were lost to a mysterious tragedy at an East London tavern.
The source of the deaths at Enyobeni tavern is shrouded in speculation. Some say that it may have had something to do with poison, or an incident that resulted in killings due to a stampede.
While police are still investigating the case, some of the attendees who survived have spoken out – adding some further context to the events.
One of the survivors, Sinovuyo Monyane (19) has since spoken out regarding the tragic happenings. Monyane was hired to promote alcohol at the event, and spoke to AFP to add her experience to the murky waters of the story. The survivor expressed that people at the tavern started complaining that they couldn’t breathe, crying out in distress that they were suffocating.
The young woman explains that she was amongst those who passed out but remembers a strong scent in the air. Guests were told that the smell was pepper spray.
Another attendee who is 16-years-old, told the BBC that the venue was packed, and there was free alcohol. The anonymous guest said that they thought people were passing out from the alcohol-influx initially. However, soon, they too found themself realising that it may have been more than that, and took to flee from the chaos, exiting by window.
Many of those in attendance were underage, excited by the allure of free entrance and cost-free drinks. The youngest victim was 13-years-old.
Police investigations have thus far recovered little more than speculation. Bheki Cele famously noted that the patrons of the tavern “died while they danced”, while Daily Maverick reported that forensic pathologists are linking the death to something ingested. This could be derived from alcohol or hookas.
The Enyobeni Tavern have been accused of various offences according to multiple alcohol trading authorities, as per The South African. These include allowing minors entry, failing to stop further guests from entering after maximum capacity was reached, selling alcohol to minors, and staying open after closing. The tavern has reportedly been instructed to shut down permanently.
The investigation continues.
Picture: @kluisenaar / Twitter