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Authorities rule out stampede as cause of death in Enyobeni tavern tragedy

A forensic team outside Enyobeni tavern in Scenery Park township in East London , where more than 20 people died. Picture: BHEKI RADEBE

A forensic team outside Enyobeni tavern in Scenery Park township in East London , where more than 20 people died. Picture: BHEKI RADEBE

Published Jun 28, 2022

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Durban - While investigators are still waiting for post-mortem results, authorities have ruled out a stampede as the cause of death in the Enyobeni tavern tragedy.

According to Eastern Cape Community Safety MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, investigations are underway, and tests are being conducted, and this will be submitted to the lab.

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"We are taking out the issue of stampede because others were lying on the ground. We are saying there is no stampede because there were three young people who were coming to speak to us when we got to the scene, and they fainted along the way. One of them has since died while en-route to hospital. This means what they consumed remained in their bodies," she said.

The MEC said once all the necessary tests have been conducted, the post-mortem results would be released in due course.

Speaking to eNCA, she said investigators are verifying the ages of the children present and the hours of trading which were flouted, as this will assist in opening a case against the tavern owner.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape Liquor Board has shut down the tavern.

Inspector Zola Tyikwe explained that a notice was issued to the tavern owner. Tyikwe explained that the tavern would be shut down to allow investigations to proceed.

He added that preliminary investigations found that there were underage children present at the venue, and the tavern contravened the business hours. Tyikwe said following the police investigation and report. Criminal charges will be filed against the owner.

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More than 20 teenagers died following a pens down party at the tavern.

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