Allow police to investigate Enyobeni Tavern deaths - Nkoana-Mashabane

Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has stressed that it was critically important that the community of Scenery Park allowed the police to do their work and for residents to lend their full cooperation.

Forensic personnel carry a body out of a township pub in South Africa's southern city of East London on 26 June 2022 after 20 teenagers died. Picture: STR / AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities has urged the public to give police detectives the space they need to thoroughly investigate the death of 21 teenagers at an East London tavern.

The bodies of the youngsters were found inside the Enyobeni Tavern in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It's not yet clear what caused their deaths.

Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has stressed that it was critically important that the community of Scenery Park allowed the police to do their work and for residents to lend their full cooperation in concluding the investigation.

Nkoana-Mashabane has warned against speculation and said that people must be careful not to spread false rumours or insensitive images, keeping the deceased's friends and loved ones in mind.

Meanwhile, relatives of the 21 teenagers are on Tuesday hoping to get more clarity on what caused their deaths.

Parents of some of the victims have blamed police, saying there was a lack of visibility at the venue where alcohol was served to teenagers.

Meanwhile, the tavern owner's wife, Vuyokazi Ndevu, has expressed shock following the tragedy and has apologised to the distraught families.

The tavern has since been shut by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board.