Eastern Cape Liquor Board welcomes the Enyobeni Tavern owners’ guilty verdict

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) welcomes today’s guilty verdict against the owners of the Enyobeni Tavern, the couple Siyamakhangela and Vuyokazi Ndevu.

Following the devastating and tragic death of 21 young people inside the couple’s Enyobeni Tavern in June 2022, ECLB opened a criminal case against the couple for allowing underage persons or minors into their liquor establishment and serving them with liquor.

Today the Court found that the owners did not take all the necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that underage persons were not allowed into the premises in line with the ECLB legislation by among other things requesting an Identity Document before allowing inside the establishment.

It was also clear from various witnesses during the trial that the Tavern attracted minors. The couple was found to have indeed violated the Eastern Cape Liquor Act No. 10 of 2003 Section 38 (a) which stipulates that no registered person may sell liquor to minors or any person who is under the age of 18 years.

“We are enormously pleased by today’s court outcomes and look forward to a harsh sentence when the Court convenes on Friday, 23 February. We are certain that today’s court outcome will act as a deterrent to other liquor traders who violate their trading conditions and allow underage persons into their liquor establishments”, said the CEO, Dr Nombuyiselo Makala.

The CEO further said: “Underage drinking remains one of the biggest social ills in our communities and we urge liquor traders and members of community to play a meaningful role in alleviating the scourge. I am also delighted to indicate that ever since the tragic incident of the Enyobeni Tavern in 2022, we have worked tirelessly to educate our communities, including liquor traders about the dangers of underage drinking and how it can be prevented in line with our legislation.”

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