Parents of Enyobeni victims enraged after court ruling 

By Anita Dangazele

The sentence imposed on the owners of Enyobeni Tavern, where 21 young adults died in June 2022, has deeply angered the victims’ parents.

The owners of the notorious tavern, Siyakhangela Ndevu and his wife Vuyokazi, were each fined R5,000 or 100 days in prison by the East London Magistrate’s Court on Friday. 

Adding insult to injury, presiding magistrate Kevin Von Bratt gave the Ndevus the option to pay the fine in installments. 

Parent Ntombizonke Mgangala said she had expected a harsher sentence to serve as a deterrent against the selling of alcohol to minors. 

“Although the sentence didn’t refer to the death of our children, we were expecting the court to send a strong message to tavern owners who continue to sell liquor to minors. Despite the sentence imposed on the Ndevus, they’ll continue to act in the same manner,” she said.

Another parent, Khululekile Ncandana, who lost his 17-year-old son, said he couldn’t believe he had to travel all the way to East London for such a disappointing sentence.

“Honestly it feels like that judge does not care about our pain,” Khululekile said. 

A mother who lost her 17-year-old son who was in matric at the time said it angered her that the magistrate was so lenient. 

“To say that they can pay in installments is an insult to us as parents. Why must his sentence please the offenders and hurt the victims? It is not fair, I lost my only son in that tavern. I’ll never find peace,” said the hysterical mother. 

A formal inquest into the deaths of 21 young people will start in the Mdantsane Regional Court on 29 February after several delays. 

Pictured above: The mother of a 17-year-old who lost his life in the June 2022 Enyobeni tragedy.

Image source: Supplied

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