South Africa investigates mysterious deaths at nightclub at Enyobeni Tavern – The Washington Post

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Police in South Africa are investigating the deaths of at least 21 young people whose bodies were found in a nightclub in the city of East London over the weekend – for no apparent reason.

The incident has gripped the country since emergency services were called to the Enyobeni tavern in the early hours of Sunday morning. Desperate families waited for the news as forensic teams analyzed the scene.

Minister of National Police Bheki Cele, he told a local news channel from the scene that one victim was 13 years old, calling the incident a disaster. “When you look at their faces, you realize we’re dealing with children,” Cele said.

Authorities initially considered whether the stampede could have been the cause of death, but “for now, we cannot say with certainty what happened,” Cele said on Sunday as further tests were carried out on the bodies.

South African newspaper Daily Dispatch reported On Sunday, bodies were discovered lying “bizarrely as if they had suddenly collapsed on the floor while dancing or in the middle of a conversation.” The newspaper reported that their reporters also saw bodies in chairs and lying above tables inside the place “with no obvious signs of injury”.

The paper states that it decided not to publish the photos taken at the scene.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa offered his “deepest condolences” to those who have lost loved ones.

“This tragedy is made even more serious by what happens during Youth Month – a time during which we celebrate young people, advocate and promote opportunities for improved socio-economic conditions for the youth of our nation,” Ramaphosa wrote on Twitter.

Young people gathered at a popular place to celebrate the completion of the exam, the Associated Press reports, while locals said the place is known for overcrowding and accused it of selling alcohol to underage students.

Promise Matinise, head of entertainment at Enyobeni Tavern, told the BBC on Monday that he saw people falling one after another after bouncers tried to control a large crowd inside. Matinise said that he contacted the owner of the institution when he realized that some of the victims were not breathing.

In South Africa, the minimum drinking age is 18, although there have been calls to pick it up to 21 in an attempt to fight crime as well as alcohol and drug abuse.

Siyanda Manana, spokeswoman for the Eastern Cape Health Department, he told Reuters that the bodies of the victims would be taken to state morgues for identification. “We will start autopsies right away so we can know the probable cause of death,” he said.

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