Health department calls on families to identify bodies of 5 who died at Enyobeni Tavern

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  • Survivors of the Enyobeni Tavern tragedy, where 21 youngsters mysteriously died, are being treated in hospitals for backache, tight chests, vomiting, and headaches.
  • The Eastern Cape health department has completed the post-mortems on those who died. 
  • Autopsy results will be available once forensic lab analysts have completed the analysis of samples.

The Eastern Cape health department has called on the families of five of the 21 young people who died at Enyobeni Tavern in East London to come forward and identify their bodies. 

This comes as the department has completed post-mortems on the victims and prepares to release them to their families.

In a statement on Monday, the department said only 16 of the bodies have thus far been identified. 

READ Bheki Cele: Youngest Eastern Cape tavern victim was only 13 years old

The bodies are currently being held at the Woodbrook mortuary in East London's West Bank. 

The statement said:

We were hoping that today the families of those [who] have not been identified will come forward for the identification process.

It added that the forensic report is not ready as yet, as samples have been submitted to the forensic lab for analysis. 

It said once these results are received the report will be finalised and handed to the SAPS. 

Father of tavern victim, Xolile Malangeni whose 17
Father of tavern victim, Xolile Malangeni whose 17 year old daughter Esinako Malangeni died at Enyobeni Tavern

The department confirmed that it admitted five patients at its Frere hospital, with one of them dying on arrival. 

It said two of them were treated and discharged, while another two are still being treated in hospital. 

READ We 'cannot fathom' what happened: 20 people dead, 2 hospitalised after Eastern Cape tavern tragedy

A further 26 patients were taken to Mpilweni Gompo Health Centre and 16 of those were treated and discharged on Sunday, after suffering from backache, tight chests, vomiting, and headaches. 

Forensic experts
Forensic experts at the scene where 21 children died at a Enyobeni tavern in East London.

An additional 10 were observed and as they had no symptoms were released. 

The department said of the 21 deaths, two died on arrival at Gompo Community Health Centre after family members brought them for help.  

The department said in a statement:

As the department we wish to send our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who perished during this unfortunate and tragic incident.

The police said the circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated.

Forensic experts at the scene where 21 children died at Enyobeni Tavern in East London.

The Eastern Cape police said the incident was reported to the police in the early hours of Sunday morning 26 June 2022, around 04:00, by members of the community.  

"Police do not want to make speculations regarding the cause of the incident as that may risk jeopardising the sensitive investigation that is underway," the police said in a statement.  

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