An inconsolable mother fainted when 19 coffins arrived at Scenery Park Sports Field for a mass funeral service. The service was in memory of the 21 teenagers who perished from a yet-to-be-determined cause at Enyobeni Tavern in East London, Eastern Cape, on 26 June.
And heartbroken mum Siyolise’s 18-year-old daughter, Sandanathi Mahlakahlaka, was among the victims.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier Oscar Mabuyane were among mourners at the park.
Two of the victims have already been buried, and two others are expected to be buried today, 6 July.
The remaining funeral services will be held privately between Friday and Sunday.
AVBOB is providing free funerals for all victims, and area manager Abongile Feni said: “After the mass funeral, 19 empty coffins will be taken back to the mortuary to collect the remains of their loved ones and transport them to burial sites of their choice.”
Feni said after proceedings, two funerals would take place today, 6 July, in Mount Coke and Haven Hills.
Provincial government spokeswoman Khuselwa Rantjie said: “The government, together with its partners, will continue to provide psychosocial support to the bereaved families and broader community. This will include community debriefing sessions to assist everyone to cope with the impact of the tragic event”.
The victims, aged 13 to 22, died under mysterious circumstances at a pens down party. Postmortems have been performed and samples sent to a lab for investigation.
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