The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is shocked and profoundly saddened by the tragic deaths that occurred at the Enyobeni Tavern in Scenery Park, East London, over the weekend. According to reports, 21 teenagers lost their lives, with more young people still receiving treatment in hospital.
We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives, as well as the greater Scenery Park and East London communities.
Although the cause of these deaths has yet to be established, it is of great concern to hear that teens as young as 13 years of age were at the Tavern and lost their lives. One must ask: why were these children out and about late at night, unsupervised, and potentially exposed to – and consuming – alcohol and other illegal substances?
We call upon parents to sit down with their children and talk to them openly and honestly about making wise choices and saying no to substances that can cause them harm. We further plead with parents and guardians to provide proper supervision, and alternative – safe – places for teenagers and other young people to gather with their friends.
As the IFP, we urge the SAPS to swiftly complete their investigations, in the hope of providing some closure for the families, as well as to prevent something like this from happening again, and claiming any more innocent lives.
If anyone is found to be liable, they must face the full might of the law.
Law enforcement must also crack down on any and all illegal Taverns in residential areas.
It is often the nature of young people to be adventurous, and occasionally break the rules, but such behaviour should never end up costing them their lives.
May they never be forgotten and may their souls rest in eternal peace.
Hon. Velenkosini Hlabisa, MPL
IFP President and Leader of the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature
082 873 3685