One of the 21 victims of the eNyobeni Tavern tragedy, Sinothando Mgangala, will be buried in a special service intended to spread awareness of the risks associated with drug and alcohol addiction.
Her aunt says her death will serve as a light for other young people. She claims that her niece was a kind and courteous person. Mgangala, who was enrolled in grade 11, would have turned 18 years old in August.
The eNyobeni tragedy comes after a string of incidents that killed young people in the province, including those at Dale College and the eNgqeleni disaster, which took the lives of several students. These tragedies have left some people with many questions, but few answers have surfaced.
President Ramaphosa delivers eulogy at Enyobeni Tavern tragedy
19 empty coffins are displayed at the #eNyobeniTavern mass funeral.The families decided to hold private funerals for their children who will later be buried at various ceremonies around Buffalo City Metro and Mbashe municipality in the EC. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/fL9jDr9qjD
— BlackBallPen (@dinanodamano) July 6, 2022
Religious leaders and the church are often sought after to provide guidance and comfort to the grieving in such situations. Eastern Cape SACC president, Canon Professor Lulama Ntshingwa says they will spend a week in August offering spiritual support to the affected families.
Ntshingwa says the program will include counselling for families and survivors of the tragedy. “In August, we will be here (Scenery Park) to meet with the families to help with spiritual counselling for those affected and those who escaped this death.”
Several funerals will be held over the course of the weekend in different locations throughout the Eastern Cape for some of the teenagers who died early on Sunday, June 25, at eNyobeni Tavern. Families say they have received support from the government and various businesses to help with funeral costs.
VIDEO | Sinothando’s aunt explains their family plans for her niece’s funeral:
Forensic investigators are examining the evidence that led to the deaths. However, a stampede has been ruled out as a contributing factor.
At the symbolic funeral on Wednesday, President Ramaphosa described the deaths as heartbreaking.
“Our hearts are broken. We have lost our children here. There are parents who will not get to hug or kiss their son or daughter again. There are grandparents who will not be blessed to see their grandson or granddaughter growing up and having their own families. In the classrooms of our schools, where these children used to go, there are now empty chairs. In one night, here in Scenery Park, 21 bright lives were snuffed out.”
The National Liquor Traders’ Council (NLTC) says the owners of the Enyobeni Tavern in the Eastern Cape failed to protect the youth from alcohol abuse.
The NTLC’s Spokesperson Lucky Ntimane explains, “As someone who was born in the village, as someone who understands that in order to raise a child it takes a village. I am here to admit that the tavern owners have failed to play their part as part of the village. We could have done more to prevent these deaths, Mr President. We are willing and stand ready to work with civil society and government so that we can contribute positively to our society. We cannot have a situation where we mention a 13-year-old and a tavern in one sentence. It should not be and it ends today.”
Stampede ruled out
The death caused by a stampede at the eNyobeni tavern has been ruled out, according to Eastern Cape Health.
The department is still awaiting the analytical laboratory findings from additional testing, nevertheless, because clothing items were also delivered.
Deputy Director General at the health department, Dr Litha Matiwane has again appealed for patience from families while tests are being conducted.
“We are committed to engage with the respective families, as and when we are in receipt of the analytical laboratory results. At the present, we have handed some clothing of the deceased to the SAPS where we are informed that they have been sent for further analysis to Cape Town. It is very important that we base our findings on evidence that has been collected as per those results.”-Additional reporting by