By: Nosipho Haya-Komisa
Scores of mourners gathered at Scenery Park Sports Field today to bid farewell to the 21 young people who died tragically at eNyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park last week. Two of the 21 teenagers were buried yesterday by their families.
The Eastern Cape Provincial Government took a decision to conduct a mass funeral service for the deceased.
The shocking incident took place during the early hours of Sunday morning at eNyobeni Tavern in Scenery park last week where 16 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 were found dead while others died on their way to hospital.
The provincial government and the law enforcement agencies are yet to reveal the cause of the death of the young teenagers.
The funeral was attended amongst others by high ranking politicians including President Cyril Ramaphosa and Eastern Cape premier, Oscar Mabuyane.
Delivering the eulogy at the mass funeral service, President Ramaphosa urged community members to work together with the law enforcement agencies to curb criminal activities in their communities.
He said this can be achieved through the establishment of community forums and other crime fighting platforms.
“I want to once again call on our communities to join their local community forums and to work with the law enforcement by reporting the violations of the law. We have a strong message to send to all those establishments breaking the law and to bring us closer to tragedies like what happened at eNyobeni Tavern. If you are breaking the law you will be shut down,” said the President.
Ramaphosa has vowed that the government will be working with various stakeholders to root out under age drinking and substance abuse.
“As a community we have to come together to do more to collectively bring up and support our children and play a more active role in their lives. We have to help our law enforcement authorities to keep our young people safe by working with them. We must work with municipal authorities to report not just shebeens and taverns selling alcohol to minors but also places where people are sold drugs,” said Ramaphosa.
Authorities have ruled out that the cause of the deaths is related to a stampede.