Stenden student Jurrien Wissink
Jurrien Wissink, a Stenden student, who died on his birthday on June 27, 2014, after consuming a vast amount of alcohol. Image: File

The fate of a barman who was implicated in the death of a Stenden student in 2014 is in the hands of the Director of Public Prosecution following the conclusion of an inquest into the matter last week in the Port Alfred Regional Court.

Dutch student Jurrein Wissink died on the night of his 24th birthday following a binge drinking session.

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During proceeding it came to light that the on-duty barman, David Goliath, had set himself a goal to make Wissink drunk. Magistrate Pieter Koopman said that Goliath did not act in a responsible manner on the evening which led to Wissink choking in his one vomit.

Koopman found that Goliath continued in supplying alcohol to Wissink even when he was “so drunk that he could not decide for himself any longer”. “This was irresponsible from Goliath,” Koopman  said, adding that, “Wissink had died from anoxia due to an intrinsic airway obstruction following the consumption of large quantities of alcohol.”

Wissink and a few friends arrived at the bar after having had a meal.

Video footage proved that Wissink had consumed a large quantity of mixed alcohol, many as down-downs, and at one stage Goliath was seen holding a glass to Wissink’s lips. He did this despite requests from Wissink’s friend, Alwyn Cuperus, to not supply him with any more alcohol.

In evidence led, Cuperus told the court that Wissink was sitting at the bar when suddenly his eyes rolled in his head while saliva was drooling from his mouth. “Then suddenly he collapsed and passed out,” he said.

He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

Now Goliath’s fate is in the hands of the DPP.

Koopman said that despite Goliath’s experience and maturity he acted irresponsibly as his ultimate goal was to get Wissink drunk. “The barman should have stopped serving alcohol,” he said.

Danie Oelofse, who acted on behalf of the Wissink family, was pleased with the findings. “We expected such a ruling,”” he said.

Goliath will face a charge of murder or of culpable homicide if the DPP decides to prosecute him.

Wissink’s blood alcohol level was 0.43g per 100ml of blood, well over the accepted norm, according to the post-mortem report.

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