THE families of the 21 young people that died mysteriously at a tavern in East London in the Eastern Cape are puzzled and demanding a speedy investigation into the matter.
The incident occurred during early hours of Sunday morning. The tavern has since been closed as an investigation is ongoing.
An unbearable situation for the parents of the 21 victims who are mourning the deaths of their children. It’s alleged that some of the victims are teenagers.
A prayer meeting was held to console the affected family members. A process of individual counselling will commence on Tuesday.
Ntombizonke Mgangala, one of the parents who lost a child, says, “For us, as a family, when you are growing up as a child, you somehow know that she is the one going to bury you. It’s so sad to find ourselves being here mourning for her as young as she is. This is the first encounter in our family and it’s difficult to accept (it). It’s so sad.”
Families have since welcomed the closure of the tavern.
The incident has angered the community, but police are calling for calm.
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana, says the investigating team is piecing together the events leading up to the tragedy.
“The SAPS requests to be given sufficient space and time to conclude the investigation. At an appropriate time, a formal statement on the outcome of the investigation will be made by the relevant authority. We have not made any arrests at this stage.”
The tavern has since been closed as Chief Inspector at Eastern Cape Liquor Board Zola Thyikwe explains, “Preliminary investigations point to two things, that there were underaged children in the premises which is not allowed; two, the tavern did not close at the time that is supposed to close.”
Government is yet to announce how it will support the affected families.
No arrest has been made yet.
Meanwhile, the National Liquor Traders Association has urged liquor traders not to chase profit at the expense of patrons’ safety and responsible trading.