'Enyobeni Tavern deaths point to a probable criminal offence'
It remains unclear what caused the devastating tragedy that claimed 21 young lives at Enyobeni Tavern, in East London on Sunday.
Speculation is rife on what brought about the sudden deaths of the underaged victims aged between 13 and 17.
It is widely suspected that carbon monoxide poisoning from petrol fumes, emitted by a generator at the tavern, was responsible for the carnage.
The South African Police Services (SAPS) released a statement refuting such claims, stating that the reason behind the deaths was yet to be determined.
Lester Kiewit interviews forensic pathologist Paul O’Sullivan about the delay in getting to the bottom of the 21 deaths at Enyobeni Tavern.
O’Sullivan said considering the deaths, the tragedy was not an accident but possibly a crime.
“But you can’t have a situation with that number of people passing away and you can’t say it’s an accident, even if it does turn out to be misadventure… it’s still probably a crime.’’Paul O'Sullivan, forensic pathologist
When forensic pathologists arrive at a crime scene, he explained, they probe the area for clues such as blood samples and the stomach contents of the victims.
He also noted that they look out for time-specific clues, which can indicate the precise timing of an occurrence.
O'Sullivan said because some of the victims who survived the tragedy were tested and treated medically, the carbon monoxide theory was not accurate.
To avoid confusion and misinformation, authorities should take their time in assessing the situation, he said.
The pathologist added that police officers deployed to the Enyobeni Tavern tragedy were competent and would release details to the public in due time.
“In this case, the police need to be given a little bit of time. I happen to know that the police in the province have a very good forensics capability and I believe sooner or later they will issue their report to whoever they issue it to and then it will become public knowledge.’’Paul O'Sullivan, forensic pathologist
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Source : Nhlanhla Mabaso/Eyewitness News