South Africa: ‘Kuzofiwa’ – a Party Invitation That Foreshadowed Deaths of 21 At Eastern Cape Nightspot

Forensic pathologists say initial results indicate that the 21 young people — aged between 14 and 20 — who died at a party in East London at the weekend inhaled or ingested something that led to their deaths. National crime scene experts have been sent to the Eastern Cape to help with the investigation into the tragedy that has left the community reeling.

A digital invitation that circulated on Facebook promoting a party at the Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park, East London, on Saturday, 25 June, said “kuzofiwa”, which, in a party context, is a slang term for, “It’s going to be a great time”. Its literal translation in isiXhosa, however, is: “There is going to be death”.

The literal meaning of the word foreshadowed the events as 21 young people — aged between 14 and 20 — died inside the popular tavern during celebrations in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victims’ bodies were found slumped over chairs and couches or on the floor in a circle. There were no signs of visible injuries.

But from initial autopsy results, forensic pathologists suspect the cause of death to be from something they inhaled or ingested, according to Unathi Binqose,…


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