The Chairperson of the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus (MPWC), Ms Nkhensani Bilankulu, today expressed great sadness at the deaths of 21 young people at a tavern in the Eastern Cape over the weekend.
I am further concerned that young people of this age, under 18 years of age, are allowed in a tavern and are allowed to consume alcohol in that place
Ms Bilankulu condemned the deaths of the 21 youngsters at Enyobeni Tavern in the early hours of Sunday morning. “I am extremely sad and I think I can speak on behalf of the whole committee in expressing sadness at the untimely deaths of these youngsters who had their whole future ahead of them. They have now been robbed of this.”
It has been reported that 12 boys and nine girls died in the incident, the youngest of whom was 13 years old. “I am further concerned that young people of this age, under 18 years of age, are allowed in a tavern and are allowed to consume alcohol in that place. Action should be taken against owners who allow underage patrons into such places. I am also concerned about these young people being in that place in the early hours of the morning. Where is the parental supervision?”
Ms Bilankulu called on all stakeholders – parents, the community, law enforcement authorities and the education and recreation sectors – to play a more active role, especially in underprivileged or poorer communities, by guiding the youth to make good choices and provide safer options for recreation to ensure young people are not vulnerable to negative influences.
“On behalf of the MPWC, I would like to send our deepest condolences to the families, friends and community of all those affected by this tragedy.”