The relatives of the victims of a mysterious incident in a bar in East London, South Africa, reflect on their loss. “She was in her last year in high school so she was looking forward to doing her first year in university” says one father of his teenage daughter who died in the tragedy.
Residents of the area continue to describe the chaos of the scene on the night with numbers of people crying and screaming.
“On the night it happened, the were people drinking outside my yard and outside the tavern. I was in bed and heard my daughter say there’s something terribly wrong going in Enyobeni. I got up then heard people crying and screaming. “ George Kwinana, Community member.
Authorities are still investigating exactly what caused the deaths of 21 people, but reports have emerged of a strong suffocating smell inside the building and those admitted to hospital described suffering from chest pains
The bodies of many of the victims, the youngest a 13-year-old girl, were discovered by police lying on tables, slumped in chairs and couches, and sprawled on the dance floor of the club in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Xolile Malengeni is father to one of the girls who died in the incident. “When I got back from work, my daughter, Esinako was at home. She was with her friends preparing to go out. In the morning on Sunday, I got a call from someone saying she got injured. They did not say she had died. So, we rushed to Scenery Park to the tavern. The police arrived after we had arrived at the scene but there were people who barred us from entering the tavern.
The teenagers were reportedly celebrating the end of mid-year exams, a local DJ’s birthday and the relaxing of some of the last COVID-19 restrictions in South Africa, which was announced earlier in the week.
The investigators continue to search for possible clues and answers.