South African bar owner where 21 teens died arrested along with two staff

South African bar owner where 21 teens died arrested along with two staff

Enyobeni Tavern - Image YouTube

Police have said they have arrested the South African bar owner whose establishment was the scene of 21 deaths last month.

The owner along with two of his staff were arrested by police on Wednesday, June 13 although they have yet to reveal their conclusions as to what the cause of death was.

Residents had been calling for the bar to be closed for some time with the spot known for allowing underage drinkers to engage in binge drinking.

Sources close to the investigation say that they suspect either a chemical or gas leak, but that poisoning was not being ruled out.

The 52-year-old owner is expected to appear before the East London Magistrates Court on August. 19, where he will face charges of supplying minors with alcohol.  Those charges could however be adjusted to include homicide depending on the final conclusions of the coroners and the police investigation.

Lieutenant-General Nomthetheleli Mene told Reuters: “Just as we said in the beginning, the investigation is a process and needs to be treated with extreme care.”

The tragedy occurred in the Scenery Park township in South Africa’s Eastern Cape when students celebrating the end of the school term in the bar, were found dead at the end of the evening. All in all 21 students were found dead, most of whom were underage with the youngest just 12.

South Africans and local residents will welcome the news that bar owner and two of his staff have been arrested in a tragedy that has caused an outpouring of grief, and accusations of failing to deal with venues that break the law.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at