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No Solace for Parents after Teens’ Mysterious Deaths

A toxicology report into the deaths of 21 young South Africans at an East London tavern in June suggests they suffocated due to overcrowding. The 21 collapsed and were found strewn on the floors of the tavern. Now, relatives are questioning the report’s credibility and are dissatisfied with it. Officials have been briefing the victims’ families privately and separately, saying it is confidential. Health department officials have declined to publicly disclose the cause of death, with Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana saying it is out of “anticipation of legal processes that might follow”. The youngest of the victims, who were at a party in the tavern to celebrate the end of mid-year exams, was aged just 13 and most of the others were younger than 18.