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

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

  • 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.

Did you know you can listen to articles? Subscribe to News24 for access to this exciting feature and more.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1594 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
53% - 8575 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
34% - 5406 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 511 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.