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Owner of East London ‘death tavern’ removes alcohol...

Maverick Citizen

SCENERY PARK TRAGEDY

Owner of East London ‘death tavern’ removes alcohol from premises under police guard

Vuyokazi Ndevu, the owner of East London’s Enyobeni tavern, arrived to remove alcohol from the venue on 30 June 2022. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

On Thursday afternoon, police removed the crime scene tape and handed the tavern back to the owner and her husband, allowing them to remove alcohol from the premises while the police kept guard.

Siyakhangela Ndevu and his wife, Vuyokazi Ndevu, who is the owner of Enyobeni tavern in Scenery Park, East London, were seen loading alcohol from the tavern on to bakkies on Thursday afternoon, under police guard.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, 21 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 died inside the tavern. The cause of death is still not known, but some parents claimed the owner had failed their children by not opening an exit.

Police officers had been deployed to the crime scene since Sunday, and forensic investigators took samples that day.

On Thursday afternoon, police removed the crime scene tape and handed the tavern back to the owner and her husband, allowing them to remove alcohol from the premises while the police kept guard. 

Enyobeni death tavern
Vuyokazi Ndevu, the owner of East London’s Enyobeni tavern, arrived to remove alcohol from the venue on 30 June 2022. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)
A man loads the remaining alcohol from Enyobeni tavern on to a bakkie at Scenery Park in East London on 30 June 2022. ( Photo: Hoseya Jubase)
enyobeni clothing
Some of the victims’ clothing inside Enyobeni tavern on 30 June after the tragedy early on Sunday morning in Scenery Park, East London. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)
enyobeni jacket
A jacket and empty bottles inside the tavern. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)
enyobeni wreath
A wreath outside the Enyobeni tavern, where 21 teenagers died. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

After receiving permission from the tavern owner, media houses were allowed inside the tavern, where wigs, jackets, a bucket hat and takkies were scattered around.

In the VIP area on the second floor, broken chairs were strewn on the floor amid “Happy Birthday” balloons.

Neighbours and friends of the tavern owner helped to take alcohol from the tavern and loaded it on to bakkies, while some watched.

When asked for comment, Vuyokazi Ndevu said that she wanted to send her condolences to the families and that she was “sorry for what happened at my tavern”.

Mgwebi Msiya, the Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) spokesperson, confirmed that they had closed the tavern on Monday and opened a case of selling alcohol to underage persons against Vuyokazi Ndevu on Tuesday.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the case was still under investigation.

“No new information is available at this stage and no arrest has been made. A statement will only be released once there is a development,” he said.

Earlier on Thursday, people walked to the tavern to lay wreaths. They later held a prayer service at St Peter’s Methodist Church.

On Friday, young people from East London plan to march to the Scenery Park Police Station and call for the tavern owner to be held accountable. DM/MC

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All Comments 5

  • on so many levels this tragedy shows the breakdown of law and order
    It is reported that the tavern was built without building permission
    As reported elsewhere you could not hold an event like this in Sandton without ticking the box for numerous licences,
    I listened to a very eloquent young lady berating the local police for incompetence
    It seems there have been cases of Rape and murder reported from the tavern and the locals see no action
    She wanted to know, what made the tavern owner so special
    There was more but you get the gist
    The real tragedy is that life will move on , little will be done and we wait for the next tragedy to happen, because nobody enforces the rules

  • The owners should be under police escort directly to jail. where is the oversight especially when complaints have been made against this tavern?

  • Selling alcohol to minors is an immoral act, yes? But what about the unsafe conditions that were allowed, or perhaps created, by the owner or the staff that may have lead to the deaths? The liquor board, or similar institution, seems to have taken action, but what about investigation and prosecution for being complicit to loss of life.

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