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Enyobeni Tavern deaths: father of deceased blames the police

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Xolile Malangeni said his 17-year-old would still be alive if the police did their job and patrolled such taverns.

The Enyobeni tavern in Scenery Park, East London where 21 people died during an event on 25 June 2022. Picture: Nhlanhla Mabasa/Eyewitness News

EAST LONDON – The father of one of the 21 teenagers who died at Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park said although her child was careless, he blamed the police and the government.

Xolile Malangeni said his 17-year-old would still be alive if the police did their job and patrolled such taverns.

The teens were found dead inside the tavern early on Sunday morning.

The cause of their deaths was not yet known and investigations were under way.

Malangeni visited the crime scene with his relatives before heading to the mortuary to identify his daughter’s body.

He described the relationship he had with his daughter as a warm one.

Mlangeni added that they used to have conversations over coffee.

He said despite his daughter having died at a tavern, the police should take the rap.

“It is because of our uncaring government that this has happened if police patrolled every tavern our kids wouldn’t have died here.”

He said his daughter was about to go on a matric camp to prepare for her final examinations.

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) has since shut down the liquor outlet.

The owner’s wife Vuyokazi Ndevu was served with the papers confirming the closure of their business – which is now a crime scene.

The liquor board’s Zola Tyikwe said the owners broke the law.

“In terms of our act, no one is allowed to sell liquor to underage persons. And any person who has done so is in transgression with the law and that transgression is a prosecutable offence – so it is a criminal act,” said Tyikwe.

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