Enyobeni Tavern deaths: scores of enraged youth demand answers from owner

More than 300 people gathered outside the tavern demanding that the owner of the tavern join their vigil.

Youth from Scenery Park and neighboring communities in East London march for their 21 peers who died at Enyobeni Tavern and held a candle lighting ceremony on 29 June 2022. Picture: Nhlanhla Mabaso/EWN

EAST LONDON - Chaos erupted outside the Enyobeni tavern in Scenery Park, in East London on Wednesday afternoon.

More than 300 young people gathered outside the tavern demanding that the owner join them in their candle lighting ceremony.

They went to pay their respects to 21 of their peers who died tragically three days ago.

Sporting denim jeans and white t-shirts while holding candles - the youngsters belted out hymns and struggle songs.

But many could not hold back the tears.

As their singing and chanting came to an end, some demanded to hear from the owner - who on Sunday told journalists he had no idea what happened at the tavern.

Some who attended survived the tragic incident.

During the service, a young lady suggested that the owner address the crowd.

“Our concern here is the owner’s absence, if he really does not know that happened here then he should have been here crying with us - as a parent and someone who is also hurting.”

The rest of the crowd joined her in calling for the owner to join them.

“We also came here to demand answers to our questions about the incident, but with the owner’s absence - who should respond to them?”

The group said the owner should take responsibility for the incident where 21 teenagers died.

It was not yet clear what led to the deaths of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.