Enyobeni tavern: Parents told final cause of death is suffocation
The father of one of the children did not believe that his daughter's death was caused by suffocation but believes it was poisoning.
The parents of the 21 teenagers who tragically died at the Enyobeni Tavern in June are individually briefed about the cause of death – and it seems to be suffocation.
CAUSE OF DEATH FINALISED
The parents are currently being sat down by the Eastern Cape Department of Health on Thursday where they are individually updated about the cause of death.
Their 21 teenagers lost their lives during a pens-down party at the tavern in East London in June. This shocking tragedy sparked talks about underage drinking in the province and across the country.
But the preliminary findings announced by the provincial health department in August were not yet conclusive. Instead, the parents were told on Thursday that their children died from suffocation.
PARENTS OF DECEASED CHILDREN LEFT WITH MORE QUESTIONS
Xolile Malangeni, the father of 17-year-old Esinako Sanarana Malangeni, was the first to be briefed about the cause of death of his daughter.
Speaking to eNCA, he says he was told that his child died of suffocation due to overcrowding.
“They said there were a lot of them and they couldn’t breathe. But I think as a parent, we still have questions because it took three months for them to search for the cause,” Malangeni said.
In July, the Eastern Cape government ruled out that the 21 young people had died due to a stampede. Over-consumption of alcohol and speculations of carbon monoxide were also not the cause.
PRELIMINARY REPORT RULED OUT STAMPEDE BUT FOUND METHANOL IN SYSTEM
However, blood and gastric samples found that all 21 young people were found to have methanol in their system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), methanol is an industrial toxic alcohol. It is often used as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source.
But this was not touched on today when the parents were given the cause of death. Malangeni says he finds it hard to believe that his child died from suffocation.
“They first told us about poison and we saw that the children could have been poisoned because they had pink lips at the mortuary. Today they tell us it was related to the lungs and they couldn’t breathe.”
“Some of the children jumped outside through the window and some died at nearby places so how could they be part of those who suffocated inside?” the father asked.
His daughter Esinako had ambitions of being a lawyer one day. Her dreams unfortunately shattered during the tragic celebratory party.