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Enyobeni Tavern Owners Ordered To Pay R5 000 Fine Or 100 Days Imprisonment

The magistrate also acknowledged that the Ndevus were not personally selling alcohol and that their level of knowledge about the situation was uncertain. The court can only act based on established facts.

The owners of Enyobeni Tavern, Vuyokazi and Siyakhangela Ndevu, have been sentenced to fines of R5,000 each or 100 days’ imprisonment by the East London regional court.

The conviction came after they were found responsible for selling alcohol to a 17-year-old, who testified during the trial.

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Magistrate Kevin von Bratt, who presided over the case, handed down the sentencing on Friday. He also expressed concern about the tavern’s involvement in a tragic incident that resulted in the death of 21 schoolchildren during a “pens down” party in June 2022. The government attributed the cause of death to suffocation due to overcrowding.

While acknowledging the community’s anger over the loss of life, von Bratt emphasised that the case before him focused on a violation of the Liquor Act.

The issue of responsibility for the minors’ deaths is yet to be determined, and the court needs to balance the rights of all parties involved.

Von Bratt highlighted the serious social problem of a business dealing in liquor without proper access controls, stating, “We are a nation that cares about our children, and it is dangerous if underage people have no difficulty obtaining alcohol.”

He noted that the control to prevent minors from accessing the tavern was inadequate, which created a significant risk.

The magistrate also acknowledged that the Ndevus were not personally selling alcohol and that their level of knowledge about the situation was uncertain. The court can only act based on established facts.

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A cashier who was on duty on the night of the deaths had previously paid an admission of guilt fine. The formal inquest into the 21 deaths is yet to commence at the Mdantsane Regional Court, where those who may be held criminally liable will be identified.

Despite the ongoing legal proceedings, this case highlights the importance of responsible alcohol sales and the need for proper access controls to prevent underage individuals from obtaining alcohol.

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Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise is a passionate and dedicated local news writer who brings the latest news and updates from your community straight to your doorstep. With years of experience in journalism, Keitumetse has established herself as a reliable source of information, covering a wide range of topics that matter to you.
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