Court emptied as minors take the stand at Enyobeni case

SOUTH AFRICA – East London – 23 May 2023- Enyobeni tavern owners Siya and Vuyokazi Ndevu at the East London Magistrates Court. PICTURE: BHEKI RADEBE

Journalists, the Enyobeni owners Siya Ndevu and his wife Vuyokazi Ndevu, family members of the victims who died in June last year at the Enyobeni tavern, and Liquor Board officials were all escorted out of court on Tuesday this week due to the testimony of children under the age of 18 who were at the tavern and survived.

The East London Magistrates Court ordered that they not be photographed or viewed by the public because they are still minors, therefore everyone was made to leave. The testimony lasted nearly two hours while everyone waited outside.

The court announced at the beginning of this month of May that this week will be for witnesses to testify in court about what they witnessed on June 26, 2022, when many pupils, including those under 18, were celebrating the end of their midterm exams, or “pens down.”

On this day, 21 young people died as a result of an unknown cause. The parents are still awaiting the results of the tests conducted at the laboratory in the Western Cape to determine what killed them.

The first witness in this case, Mncedisi George Kinana, who lives near this tavern, testified at the end of last month. On Tuesday, minors testified. There were four additional witnesses on Wednesday, including two from the Liquor Board and two people who were present that day. I’solezwe published the article before the case concluded on Wednesday. The parents are awaiting a favourable ruling from the court since the case is still pending.