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  • ‘Enyobeni promised free booze and food’ – teens tavern deaths

    ‘Enyobeni promised free booze and food’ – teens tavern deaths

    It was a Facebook post advertising free alcohol and food on 25 June that attracted East London teenagers to the Enyobeni tavern on that fateful weekend.

    Since they were school-going teens who had no money, this enticed them to attend the party which ended with the tragic death of 21 teenagers.


    Speaking in an interview on eNCA, survivors of the tragic event said they attended the party due to promises of free food and drinks.

    “There was a Facebook post that said that on the 25th, at Enyobeni, there will be free alcohol and food. So, we saw that and went to the event as we have no money,” said one of minors who had their identity hidden.

    The teenagers say they were greeted with free shots of alcohol and offered opened bottles of Savanna cider as promised in the Facebook post.

    “When you buy one bottle, you get another for free. Everything was free there. Alcohol was free. Even food, we got for free.”

    A teenager who attended the tragic Enyobeni tavern party.

    ALSO READ: ICYMI: Enyobeni tavern: Mass funeral for dead tavern teenagers


    Some of the interviewed teens were saddened and filled with shame for convincing their friends to join the party. These friends instead did not make it home alive.

    Teenagers saw a Facebook post saying Enyobeni tavern will offer free booze and food. PHOTO: Facebook/Blessings Ramoba Page

    “I have been sad since I lost my friend that lived in Ziphunzana. He was helping another child when there was a stampede. He was struggling to breath and he complained and asked for help. He suffocated and died.”

    Another anonymous teen says he had minor injuries from the incident but lost a friend whom he shared a desk with at school.

    “I went to hospital but I was not seriously injured. I am devastated because I lost a friend that I studied with, who died there. When we go back to school, who am I going to sit with, since we shared a desk?” he said.


    The boys explained how they were ashamed to speak to the parents of their deceased friends as they felt partly to blame.

    “It hurts us and we don’t know what to say to parents as we went to our friends’ homes to fetch them so we can go to Enyobeni. We are even scared to explain what happened that day. Parents are asking why we took their children and failed to return them home.”

    “A friend of mine also went there to check for his girlfriend. He missed a step and fell. He wasn’t drunk, but he died,” said one of the teenagers.

    A 14-year-old explained how he managed to slip through the bouncers to enter the tavern. The boys all said there were no adults supervising them.

    He said there was no bouncer who let him in as the crowd was overwhelmingly large.

    “The place was packed and no one noticed me. It was too full for security to monitor who is coming in or going out. When they sprayed the pepper spray, I was still inside the tavern before they closed the door. I didn’t see the pepper spray but I could smell it.


    The police in the Eastern Cape slammed speculations of the possible cause of deaths of the 21 teenagers.

    The autopsies were being conducted in the Western Cape and police expected a toxicology report by Thursday.

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