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“Will we ever really know what really happened?” Enyobeni parent asks, a year on

todayJune 27, 2023 83

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The parents of the 21 teenagers who lost their lives under mysterious circumstances at a pens-down party at Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park, Eastern Cape, last year say they still have unanswered questions.
The 25th of June will forever be a day that carries terrible memories for the families as their children, aged between 13 and 17, all collapsed and died while inside the tavern.
The families of the 12 girls and nine boys maintain that they want justice for their children.
The preliminary findings by the provincial health department in August were not conclusive and the parents were told that their children died from suffocation.
Nombizonke Nkangala, a parent who spoke to our sister channel, eNCA, says if their children did not drink contaminated alcohol, they would still be alive.
Khululekile Ncandana lost his 17-year-old son in the tragedy.
He says memories of his son comfort him.
Ncandana says he remembers the teenager as a good boy, who had big dreams.
The owners of the establishment, Siyakhangela and Vuyokazi Ndevu, are on trial over the tragedy.
The pair has pleaded not guilty to the charge of contravening the Liquor Act by selling alcohol to underaged patrons.
During their court appearance last month, one of the state witnesses, Nalo Mtizana, told Magistrate Kevin von Bratt that the Ndevus were inside the tavern when tragedy struck, and just watched the children die.
Mtizana told the court that when the children started dropping on the floor, she went outside to get some fresh air, and told someone what was happening. They allegedly just laughed and as they probably thought she was joking.
The Eastern Cape Liquor Board says alcohol is not supposed to be sold to under age people.
The Ndevus meanwhile maintain their innocence.
They are due back in court on the 19th of next month.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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