Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
19 Jul 2022
6:17 pm

Enyobeni tavern: Possible that deceased’s drinks were spiked with methanol

Sipho Mabena

Though the exact cause of the deaths has not been verified, the levels of methanol suggest drinks could have been spiked

Portraits of some teenagers are seen on empty coffins during symbolic mass memorial service in East London on 6 July 2022, after 21 people, mostly teens, died at the Enyobeni tavern last month. Photo: Phill Magakoe / AFP

The discovery of methanol in the blood samples of the victims of the Enyobeni tavern tragedy in the Eastern Cape has raised the possibility of a spiked concoction as the likely cause of the death of the 21 teenagers. In June 2020 seven people from Masiphumelele in Fish Hoek, Western Cape, died from methanol poisoning after drinking a substance mixed with milk or a soft drink. Methanol, a toxic alcohol used industrially as a solvent, pesticide and alternative fuel source, was found in the blood samples of all the victims at the Enyobeni tavern. In addition to methanol, carbon monoxide...