Enyobeni Tavern owner to face criminal charges and have licence revoked

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board says necessary steps are being taken to deal with Enyobeni Tavern including the immediate revocation of the liquor licence and laying criminal charges against the licence holder. 

On Sunday, 21 underage children died at Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park, East London and investigations are ongoing as to what exactly led to their demise. 


The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) said they will open a case against the owner of Enyobeni Tavern for the blatant contravention of the Eastern Cape Liquor Act that clearly stipulates that no alcohol shall be sold to persons under the age of 18.

Police Minister Bheki Cele visited Enyobeni on Sunday, he engaged with local residents and with parents of the deceased at the local mortuary where the process to identify the victims was underway. Cele also confirmed that the youngest victim was a 13-year-old. 

Police Minister, Bheki Cele and Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola outside the crime scene. Image: SAPS

Eastern Cape Liquor Board Chief executive Officer Dr Nombuyiselo Makala urged communities to report to the ECLB or SAPS any suspicious practices by the liquor outlets within their proximity. 

“To this effect, we have established a Toll—Free number (080 000 0420) and a WhatsApp number (076 403 6223) to enable communities to report cases of non-compliance including the sale of alcohol to the underage people. 

“Invariably, community members have a significant role to play in monitoring and reporting liquor outlets that wittingly or unwittingly flout the trading conditions.”

Dr Nombuyiselo Makala

Police have since registered an inquest into the death of the 21 teenagers.

“We have an experienced team that is complementing the provincial team to ensure that we get to the bottom of what has led to the death of these young people. We are also  engaging other stakeholders to investigate issues of compliance to liquor legislation,” Bheki Cele said.

ALSO READ: ‘People forced themselves inside’: Enyobeni tavern owner speaks out

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