Probe into Eastern Cape tavern tragedy

Monday, June 27, 2022

The management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) has ordered a high-level investigation into the tragic deaths of 21 teenagers at a local tavern in Scenery Park, in East London.

This as on Sunday morning at about 4am, police from the Scenery Park Police Station received a report of the lifeless bodies of the teenagers at a local tavern in the area.

SAPS spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said: “Upon arrival police found seventeen bodies inside the building. It was later established two more died at a local clinic, one died en-route to hospital and another died in hospital.”

Nine of the deceased are female while twelve of the deceased are male. 

 On Sunday, Police Minister Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner General Fannie Masemola led a high level delegation of crime scene experts to the scene. The team included bomb disposal technicians from the National Headquarters of the Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management Component to complement and support the Eastern Cape Crime Scene Investigations teams.

The Minister engaged with local residents and with parents of the deceased at the local mortuary where the process to identify the victims was underway. He called on residents and affected families to allow police investigations to unfold.

"We have an experienced team that is complementing the provincial team to ensure that we get to the bottom of what has led to the death of these young people. We are also engaging other stakeholders to investigate issues of compliance to liquor legislation,” said the Minister.

Police have registered an inquest into the deaths. -


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