WATCH | 'My daughter escaped out of the house in a gown,' to go to the tavern - grief-stricken father

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  • 21 partygoers died over the weekend at the Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park. 
  • Many of those found dead on Sunday morning were teens, with the youngest reported to be just 13.
  • Police are still puzzled as to what caused the deaths, while the victims' parents are demanding answers.

A heartbroken Eastern Cape father is attempting to come to terms with tragically losing his young daughter who slipped out of the house on Saturday evening to go to the East London tavern.

Xolile Malangeni said his daughter, Esinako, a Grade 12 pupil, was dressed in pyjamas, but underneath her night wear, she was wearing black and white attire in line with the tavern's party theme for the night.

"When I went to bed my daughter was wearing a gown as if she was also going to sleep. I didn't know that underneath the gown she was wearing those black and white things they said they must wear," he said.

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

Malangeni, who is a former chairperson of the Community Policing Forum at the Beacon Bay area of KwaNompumelelo, blamed the government, for granting an operating licence to the tavern when it only has a single entrance; as well as the police, for failure to do patrols.

He added:

Our police were supposed to patrol, if your licence says 2 o'clock, at 2 o'clock you're supposed to close.

The national police are assisting their local counterparts to find out exactly what happened to the victims who died.

The victims were found dead at the tavern in Scenery Park in the early hours of Sunday morning, seemingly with no visible injuries.

Images circulating on social media since Sunday, showed bodies of young people lying scattered across the floor of the tavern, while others could be seen motionless on tables and couches.

The Eastern Cape department of health said in a statement on Monday, only 16 of the bodies have thus far been identified while five others have not been claimed.

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
News24 Johnnie Isaac, News24
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
News24 Johnnie Isaac, News24

It added that some of the survivors of the tavern tragedy, are still being treated in hospitals for backache, tight chests, vomiting, and headaches. 

It added that the post-mortems on the victims' bodies have been completed and autopsy results will be available once the forensic samples taken have been analysed.


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