South Africa: Parents Want Enyobeni Owners to Be Charged With Murder

Parents of the 21 children who died at the Enyobeni Tavern want the two men accused of selling alcohol to the minors also to be charged with murder.

They say they will not find closure until an inquest into the deaths of their children is opened.

Vuyokazi and Siyakwamkela Ndevu, who have been charged for selling liquor to underaged children, made a brief appearance at the East London Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

The Liquor Board laid charges against them earlier this year.

The couple have pleaded not guilty.

News of the death of 21 children at Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park in East London during a pens down party in the early hours of 26 June caused a national outcry. The youngest victim was just 13 years old.

Police have not closed their investigation into what happened at Enyokeni Tavern on 26 June 2022.

Parents took to the streets to demand justice for their children. Joining in were organisations such as the South African Council of Churches and Lawyers for Human Rights.

They are asking for the prosecution of the Ndevus and anyone else found to be responsible for the death of the minors.

A memorandum addressed to the district control prosecutor was handed in.

“It is not lost to us that the tavern owners are currently being prosecuted on Liquor Act related offences. However, we need more,” reads the memorandum.

“More needs to be done to hold them accountable. We believe they are ultimately responsible for the harm that was inflicted that night. And that they should be prosecuted as such.”

The memorandum said finding closure and concrete answers to what happened to the children is of paramount importance.

“All state institutions need to be held accountable for their failure to protect the citizenry by allowing reckless sale of alcohol by the owners of Enyobeni and like establishments.”

The Ndevus are due to appear in court again on 25 April next year.


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