The state has concluded its presentation in the trial of Siyakhangela and Vuyokazi Ndevu, the couple from Enyobeni Tavern. The trial is taking place at the East London Regional Court.
Police Detective Captain Gerhard Swart was the last witness called by senior state prosecutor Advocate Tango Pangalele during the proceedings.
Throughout the trial, testimonies were given by neighbors of the couple, eyewitnesses who were present at the tavern when the tragic incident happened, and officials from the Eastern Cape Liquor Board.
Additionally, CCTV footage from the establishment on the night of 26 June 2022 was presented by the state.
The Ndevus have pleaded not guilty to charges related to selling or supplying alcohol to minors and allowing employees to do the same.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) spokesperson, Luxolo Tyali, shared that the proceedings will resume on 24 October, during which the defense will present its case.
Parents of the children who tragically lost their lives expressed their anticipation to hear the defense’s side.
In another matter related to the incident, an inquest is set to continue in the East London Regional Court on 31 August 2023.
Eastern Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Barry Madolo, ordered the inquest to determine potential criminal liability for the deaths.
Tyali stated that since the cause of the incident remains unclear, formal inquest proceedings are necessary to establish the cause of death and reach a legal conclusion.
The inquest will involve over 30 witnesses, including experts and eyewitnesses, and will aim to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the disaster.
On 26 June 2022, during a post-exam celebration at the establishment in Scenery Park, East London, 21 teenagers, comprising nine girls and twelve boys aged 13 to 17, tragically lost their lives under mysterious circumstances.