ANCYL lambasts Ramaphosa’s decision to attend mass funeral of Enyobeni Tavern victims

The African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in the Eastern Cape has lambasted President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to attend the mass funeral service of 21 young people who died at the Enyobeni Tavern in East London a week ago.

The Presidency announced on Monday  that the president will join Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, to comfort the grieving families of the deceased in Scenery Park in East London on Wednesday.

However, the regional chair of the ANC Youth League says Ramaphosa is not welcome.

Ondela Hlokomane spoke to the SABC at a vigil for the victims on Monday at Scenery Park.

“What is it that the president is coming here to do? We understand that he’s here to mourn, but we question the capabilities of his government because from time to time, Ramaphosa is talking about building a capable state and we question his capability of doing that. As much as we are the youth league of the ANC, we are saying that his presence here will mean nothing to the youth of Scenery Park, in particular, because he has failed to deal with the de Ryter of Eskom. We are in a dark country, which leads to young people having to go and play in the streets and be vulnerable to all these types‘ of societal ills. So we were not fazed by his presence because what was it bringing? Unless he’s coming here to pronounce a clear programme that will empower young people in this country, then his presence here will be meaningless,” says Hlokomane. 

ANC Youth League holds memorial service for Enyobeni Tavern tragedy victims

Deputy Mayor of the Buffalo City Municipality, Princess Faku says many dignitaries will be attending the funeral.

“The premier of the province will be present, the president will be here. The Minister of SA Police, the Minister of Social Development, and other ministers. As you can see even today the portfolio committee of women, youth, and children and people of disabilities are here engaging with the community.”

Buffalo City Metro is investigating whether the tavern’s structure complied with safety regulations: 

Meanwhile, officials from the Buffalo City Metro and the Eastern Cape Liquor Board have made surprise visits to liquor outlets in the Scenery Park area to check compliance with their operating licenses. The visit is aimed at informing tavern owners about their roles and responsibilities.

It is also about raising public awareness about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

The Enyobeni incident sparked a massive debate around underage drinking. The Buffalo City Metro and Eastern Cape Liquor Board have partnered to prevent a repeat of this tragedy.

They visited taverns to check on compliance, as Buffalo City Metro’s Deputy Mayor Princess Faku explains.

“Issues of compliance, do you have enough windows  that are open, is there enough exit areas for people to get  out, what time do they allow people to come in to sell cigarettes, alcohol and there is age restriction when it comes to that and also informs them if there are any emergencies, which people to call.”

Tavern owner, Thundezile Moya, says it is important to comply with the conditions of operating licenses when running a business.

“It is very important to comply and respect your business so that it can run smoothly even though we don’t like to be monitored every now and again.”

Patrons have also welcomed the initiative. “The problem is that children have got so many rights; that’s why it is easy for them to do what they want, government must limit children’s rights.”

Another patron says; “This is a good initiative, I’m hoping that they are not only doing it because of the incident at Enyobeni, there must be regular oversight.”

Funeral preparations under way for 21 Enyobeni Tavern victims

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