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Three arrests after mysterious deaths of 21 young people in South Africa

A body is removed from a nightclub in East London on June 26.
A body is removed from a nightclub in East London on June 26. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AFP
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Authorities are still investigating the causes of death, two weeks after the tragedy.


Three people have been arrested after the mysterious deaths of 21 young people at a South African nightclub last month.

The 52-year-old owner of the bar and two of his employees were detained for illegally serving alcohol to minors, police said in a statement.

The victims -- all aged between 14 and 20 years old -- were found at the Enyobeni bar in East London on 26 June. They reportedly attending a party to celebrate the end of winter school exams.

Most of the bodies were found with no apparent injuries, while some died within hours of arriving in hospital.

Some survivors reported a "choking smell" in the nightclub and witnesses have suggested that the young people may have been poisoned.

Authorities have ruled out a fatal stampede, but investigations are yet to reveal the causes of death two weeks after the tragedy.

The owner of the bar is expected to appear before a judge on 19 August. His two employees have already been fined 2,000 rands (€120) and will only go to court if they cannot pay.

"As we have been saying all along, the investigation is ongoing and must be conducted with the utmost care and wisdom if we are to reach the desired conclusions," said the Eastern Cape police chief, Nomthetheleli Mene.

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