Barely a week after 21 Eastern Cape youths who died in a tavern after allegedly consuming alcohol were laid to rest, a Limpopo family is burying their 23-year-old son who died after allegedly emptying a bottle of Jagermeister during a drinking competition in a tavern. The incident allegedly took place last Sunday night at Blue…
Barely a week after 21 Eastern Cape youths who died in a tavern after allegedly consuming alcohol were laid to rest, a Limpopo family is burying their 23-year-old son who died after allegedly emptying a bottle of Jagermeister during a drinking competition in a tavern.
The incident allegedly took place last Sunday night at Blue Corner Liquor Restaurant at Ha-Mashamba village outside Elim, in the Vhembe district municipality.
The deceased, Osborne Mbedzi, was with friends when he allegedly entered a “drinking competition”.
Police said soon after he finished the bottle, he collapsed and was rushed to the local clinic, where he was certified dead.
“The competition works like this,” local resident Joel Valoyi told The Citizen. “Two or more people compete on who finishes a bottle first and the winner gets the prize money of R200.
“It could be a bottle of beer, gin, brandy or whisky. But this time it was Jagermeister.”
Valoyi claimed to have been present at the fateful drinking competition.
Jagermeister contains 35% alcohol by volume.
When The Citizen went to the tavern, it was closed. But another woman, Thavhani Madadzhe, said there were threats by locals to shut down the tavern for good.
“We suspect there was foul play in all this. We are appealing to the police and the law enforcement agencies to get to the root of this. We suspect there was a concoction poured into the drink that led to his death,” Madadzhe said.
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Limpopo businessman Black Letsoalo, who owns a restaurant, said he did not condone what happened.
“I want to advise all shebeen, tavern and pub owners to rather engage in healthy competition.
“Competition is meant to grow businesses and should promote a healthy lifestyle.”
The family of the deceased man refused to comment and said they were still in mourning.
“We would like to mourn the mysterious death of our son in peace.
“We would, however, be able to speak to the media after the funeral,” said family representative Flora Ratsethane, who is an aunt of the dead man.
Police spokesperson in Limpopo Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said an investigation into the incident has been opened at the Waterval police station near Louis Trichardt.
Mbedzi will be buried on Saturday, he said.