Enyobeni Tavern owners found guilty of sale of liquor to under 18s

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Enyobeni Tavern owners Siyakhangela and Vuyokazi Ndevu have been found guilty of selling and supplying intoxicating liquor to persons under the age of 18.

The East London Regional Court found that the state had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt that the couple was responsible for the sale of alcohol to under-aged children. The two were charged following the death of 21 young patrons in June 2022 at their establishment.

The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges and took the witness stand in their defence. The state also called a total of nine witnesses, including two minors who survived the incident.

After the state closed its case, the defence applied for a discharge according to Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act. However, the prosecution successfully opposed that application. The case will be back in court on Friday for arguments in aggravation and mitigation of sentence.

National Prosecuting Authority’s Regional Spokesperson, Luxolo Tyali, says the formal inquest into the deaths of the 21 patrons at Enyobeni Tavern is still to commence at the Mdantsane Regional Court.