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STATEMENT ON THE CONCLUSION OF THE EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD CASE AGAINST THE ENYOBENI TAVERN OWNERS

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) is considered a “creature of statute” and is mandated to regulate the issuance of liquor licences for the Eastern Cape Province, including ensuring compliance with the trading conditions in accordance with the provisions of its enabling legislation, the Eastern Cape Liquor Act 10 of 2003 (Act) and Regulations.

In the early hours of June 26, 2022, the whole country woke up to the tragic and heart-breaking news of the sudden and gruesome deaths of 21 young people at the Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park, East London. In consequence of the devasting tragedy, the ECLB swiftly invoked Section 55 of the Act, which provides for the owner to cease trading in liquor and close the premises concerned with immediate effect. The Notice was served directly (as required by law) on the licence-holder, Vuyokazi Ndevu, at the premises on June 27, 2022. The ECLB further laid charges of contravention of the Act with the South African Police Services against Siyakhangela and Vuyokazi Ndevu.

The Ndevus were charged following the blatant contravention of Section 38(a) read with Sections 40, 60, and 61 of the Act, which stipulate that no alcohol shall be sold to an underage person. Vuyokazi Ndevu was charged in her capacity as the licence-holder, while Siyakhangela Ndevu was charged in his capacity as a manager.

 

Following a lengthy trail that took more than 20 months, on February 21, 2024, the East London Regional Court found the two accused guilty of contravening Section 38(a) read with Sections 40, 60, and 61 of the Act.

Section 61 makes provision for the appropriate sanctions to be imposed for contravention of Section 38 and Section 60, which include a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years or both such fine and imprisonment. Subsequently, on 23 February 2024 Siyakhangela and Vuyokazi Ndevu were sentenced by the East London Regional Court. They each were fined a sum of R5, 000 or a 100-day term of imprisonment.

It is significant to note that the Enyobeni tragedy exposed that the determination of fines as permitted by the Criminal Procedure Act held an admission of guilt fine in the sum of two thousand rand for the contravention of section 38 of the Act (supply of liquor to underage persons). The two employees of the Vuyokayi Ndevu and under the management at the time of the incident, Owen Ndevu, paid admission of guilt fines for supplying alcohol to underage persons (contravention of section 38 of the Act).  

 

The insufficient penalty provided for by the schedule of fines immediately prompted the ECLB to convene a collaborative session with senior members of the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Police Services which culminated into a proposed revised determination of fine schedule. The proposal was submitted to both the Chief Magistrate for East London/Gqeberha and the Chief Magistrate for Mthatha for consideration and possible approval. The determination is not within the ambit of the ECLB but rather the judiciary in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act. The respective Chief Magistrates favourably approved the proposed determination of fines with minor variations.

 

 Regrettably, there is no uniformity.  However, the new determination of fines holds harsher sanctions including the provision that there would be no option of a fine for a charge under section 38 of the Act for selling liquor to a minor. Practically, this would mean all such charges would proceed to criminal prosecution before a court of law.  

 

The ECLB supported the NPA and SAPS in the criminal prosecution of the Ndevus for the contraventions of its Act. However, it is worth noting that this criminal prosecution and conviction are not for the deaths of the minors but for the contravention of the Eastern Cape Liquor Act, which is selling liquor to underage persons.

In respect of the deaths, the SAPS opened an Inquest docket. The will determine what was the actual cause of the deaths and who must be held criminally liable. This process has commenced at Mdantsane Magistrate’s Court, and the ECLB has conveyed to the NPA that it shall avail itself at any time during the inquest proceedings. The next date for the inquest proceedings is February 29th, 2024.

 

 

ENDS…

 

 

ISSUED BY:

EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD

 

 

 

EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD TO HANDOVER SCHOOL SHOES AND SANITARY TOWELS AT MFESANE HIGH SCHOOL

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) will be handing over school shoes and
sanitary towels to Mfesane High School disadvantaged children on the 30 January
2024 at Motherwell.

Mfesane High School has been adopted by the ECLB under the ambassadorial
programme, which is aimed at alleviating underage drinking amongst school going
youth.

We, therefore, extend invitation to media to this crucial event that will be arranged as
follows:
Date: 30 January 2024
Time: 12h00
Venue: Mfesane High School - Motherwell

For any enquiries, please contact Mgwebi Msiya at 060 501 6418
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ends…

Issued by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board

EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD EXTREMELY SHOCKED BY PENS DOWN PARTIES THAT ARE BEING PLANNED FOR THIS WEEKEND

Media Release

To: Journalists & Editors

01 December 2023

EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD EXTREMELY SHOCKED BY PENS DOWN PARTIES THAT ARE BEING PLANNED FOR THIS WEEKEND

Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) has learnt with shock and dismay about numerous Pens Down Parties that are being planned for this weekend, starting from today (Friday). This is extremely disheartening, and learners are urged to refrain from this abhorrent behaviour.

ECLB is closely monitoring various Social Media platforms where these parties are often advertised and has been able to detect the following planned Pens Down Parties as advertised on social media, with their venues and dates:

DATE

VENUE

01/12

West bank beach

01/12

Next to Mthatha stadium (Parking lot area)

02/12

KwaDubu, KwaMaqoma, Fort Beaufort

02/12

KwaBuziwe, Mdantsane

02/12

Kei Road Community Hall

 

Said the CEO, Dr Makala “We are cognisant of the fact that there is likely to be more parties being planned for this weekend across the province as today marks the end of examinations and we continue to monitor all the platforms so we can promptly track down these parties so that they can be thwarted.”

These reports have since been referred to SAPS and ECLB Inspectors so that a speedy action is taken to avert hosting of these parties.

Dr Makala added “It is hard to believe that our young people continue to engage in these unfortunate practices that have often proven to be very perilous, and I wish to point out that liquor outlets that will be used as venues for these parties will be dealt with mercilessly”.

Parents and members of the community are urged to be vigilant during this time and know whereabouts of their children and where these parties are suspected, they must be reported to the nearest police station or the Eastern Cape Liquor Board by calling Toll-Free Line 080 000 0420 or sending a WhatsApp message to 076 403 6223.

 

For any enquiries, please contact Mgwebi Msiya at 060 501 6418 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ENDS… Issued by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board

EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD URGES LEARNERS TO REFRAIN FROM PENS DOWN PARTIES AS MANY GRADES CONCLUDE EXAMINATIONS THIS WEEK

Media Release

For immediate release

29 November 2023

 

EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD URGES LEARNERS TO REFRAIN FROM PENS DOWN PARTIES AS MANY GRADES CONCLUDE EXAMINATIONS THIS WEEK

 

As the end-of-the-year examinations are coming to an end this week, Eastern Cape Liquor Board (ECLB) urges learners to refrain from any Pens Down parties that are largely characterised by excessive consumption of alcohol.

This week also marks the conclusion of this year's Eastern Cape Liquor Board’s Pens Down Campaign that was launched in October to raise awareness against the abhorrent and disastrous Pens Down culture.

As many grades are completing their examinations this week, there is a growing fear across the Eastern Cape that many learners may be organising the Pens Down parties.

“We wish to send a very strong warning to our learners never to organise the Pens Down parties so as to avoid eventualities similar to the Enyobeni Tavern incident”, said the CEO Dr Makala.

Dr Makala added, “Our stern warning also goes to all liquor traders to refrain from hosting these Pens Down parties in their establishments, and where a liquor trader is found to have permitted young people to arrange the parties in their outlets an immediate action will be taken against such a liquor trader. Our liquor inspectors working with SAPS have been deployed throughout the province to closely monitor liquor outlets that might be used for the Pens Down parties”.

Parents and members of the community are urged to be on the lookout for the movements and whereabouts of their children during this time and where these parties are suspected they must be reported to the nearest police station or the Eastern Cape Liquor Board by calling Toll-Free Line 080 000 0420 or sending a WhatsApp message to 076 403 6223.

Subsequent to a number of incidents that have occurred due to the Pens Down parties, ECLB is taking every necessary precaution to ensure that these parties are prevented from being organised. Instead, young people are encouraged to look for other means of celebrating the final examinations without indulging in alcohol.

 

For any enquiries, please contact Mgwebi Msiya at 060 501 6418 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Issued by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board

Image

The function of the ECLB is to regulate the registration of retail sales and micro-manufacturing of liquor in the province

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