Journalism of Courage

17 people found dead at South African nightclub

Regional newspaper DispatchLive reported that the bodies were found “lying strewn across tables, chairs and on the floor; with no obvious signs of injury”.

At least seventeen young people were found dead at a nightclub in South Africa on Sunday Morning.

Three other young men died hours later at the hospital, Per Second News gathered, with authorities trying to establish the cause of death as none of the bodies bore signs of injury.

“We got a report about 17 [people] that died in a local tavern in Scenery Park which is based in East London,” said Brig Thembinkosi Kinana, police spokesman in Eastern Cape province.

Unathi Binqose, an official at the provincial community and safety department, said there was no indication that a stampede caused the deaths.

“It’s difficult to believe it’s a stampede as there are no visible open wounds to those dead,” Mr Binqose told South African channel Newzroom Afrika

“Maybe a stampede would have happened afterwards when people saw others were collapsing … which may have led to the death of some, but we’re finding it hard to believe that some have died due to a stampede.”

Regional newspaper DispatchLive reported that the bodies were found “lying strewn across tables, chairs and on the floor; with no obvious signs of injury”.

Mr Binqose said some of those found at the scene were under the legal drinking age of 18. He said he understood the patrons were pupils “celebrating ‘pens down’, a party held after writing [high school] exams”.

The owner of the club will “have a lot to answer to”, he said.

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