The police are combing the East London tavern for clues that led to the death of 17 patrons in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The provincial police commissioner, Nomthetheleli Mene, says an initial report indicates that a stampede took place inside the tavern.
“We are waiting for the investigation to continue and that will guide us as to what type of a docket, what crime we will register as the police. We got the calls at about 04h00, that is what I am told. What time the incident happened, we don’t know. We are still interviewing people on the crime scene to check what time did it happen, what time was the place supposed to close, and all that. We are still processing that.”
The number has been revised after some were taken to hospital for treatment. The police and emergency service workers remain on the scene.
Numerous people were also injured.
Calls to revoke tavern’s licence
Residents of Scenery Park in East London, the scene of what appears to have been a stampede inside the Enyobeni tavern, are demanding that the place be shut down.
They claim that underage drinking is permitted there and that the tavern does not care about the safety of its customers.
Xolile Malangeni, a distraught father whose two children are reportedly among the dead, demands that the provincial Liquor Board revoke the tavern’s liquor licence.
“I’m not feeling well good at all when you got two kids on that scene it’s not right l hope our government can take action I don’t want to say the Liquour Board failed even the police failed if the police were patrolling even liquor board the licence says two o’clock, this happened after three and the owner knows the rules.”
SABC reporter, Abongile Jantjies, says a forensic investigation is also underway to determine the exact cause of the tragedy.
“Some of the residents are waiting as some of their children did not come home yesterday. So they are thinking some might be there. It is something that is not fathomable and they can’t understand what lead to it.”