More than a thousand bereaved families and community members attend funerals in East London, South AfricaIn a mysterious tragedy in a nightclub about two weeks ago.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was to give praise for the young who died.
Mourning hymns were sung by a large choir as 19 coffins were carried to a large tent where the service is being held in Scenery Park Township, east London. Two families held private funerals and service organizers said the coffins on display were empty in connection with the wishes of some families. The children are to be buried in different graveyards after Wednesday and in the days to come, he said.
As the tent filled to capacity, many more mourners sat outside.
It is still not known what causes, aged between 13 and 17, whose bodies were found at Enyobeni Inn. The legal drinking age in all of South Africa was under 18. Pathologists are studying the cause of death from blood samples. Police said the possibility of a stampede has been ruled out as the victims did not suffer serious body injuries.
Sinovyo Monyane, 19, hired by the bar to promote a brand of wine, said last week she was still “confused” but felt lucky to be alive.
She said that she was struggling to escape from a door surrounded by people.
“We tried to move through the crowd, ‘Please let us in,’ and others were shouting ‘We’re dying, guys,’ and ‘We’re suffocating’ and ‘There are people who can’t breathe. can’,” she told AFP. ,
She said, “At that point I fainted. I was short of breath and there was a strong smell of some kind of spray in the air. We thought it was pepper spray.”
Later he regained consciousness after someone sprinkled water on him.
She said in a phone interview, “I woke up and felt dead bodies lying all around. I saw people being poured water, but they didn’t even move.” “I could die.”
There is a gloomy mood in the area around Rundown Sarai, with some residents placing wreaths and flowers. Authorities have closed the bar amid questions about how many underage teens can gather at an establishment selling liquor after midnight on June 26.
Community members say underage drinking is a well-known problem.
Ramaphosa’s address to the service comes as he faces a series of challenges including questions about South Africa’s extended power cuts, widespread allegations of corruption and large amounts of cash allegedly hidden in furniture at his own game farm.
In addition to praising Ramaphosa, the funeral service includes hymns by local choirs and addresses from family representatives, religious and community leaders.
AFP contributed to this report.