The owner of Enyobeni nightclub in East London, South Africa, where about 21 teenagers died on Sunday morning, is under fire amid revelations that a 13-year-old was among those who died.
Police Minister, Beki Cele said the deceased were aged between 13 and 17, therefore, the owner of the tavern violated liquor regulations which state that dealers should sell alcohol to people aged 18 and above.
Addressing families outside the Brookwood Mortuary, Cele said minors aged between 13 and 17 died at the Scenery Park tavern.
Police had earlier said the victims were between 18 and 20.
Cele, who cried after seeing the children’s bodies at the mortuary, said:
The scene I have seen inside, it doesn’t matter what kind of a heart you have, you will be said. Firstly, the sight of those bodies sleeping there but when you look at their faces you realise that you’re dealing with kids. You’ve heard the story that they are young but when you see them you realise that it’s a disaster.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana said police have opened an investigation and have also ordered the deployment of “maximum resources” as they investigate the incident.
On Sunday morning, at about 04:00, the Scenery Park police station received reports of “lifeless bodies”, national police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said.