Witness Reporter
2 minute read
29 Jun 2022
06:05

Our viewpoint | Enyobeni tragedy

Witness Reporter

The recent tragic death of 21 teenagers at a tavern in East London should remind everyone what we mean as Africans when we say it takes a village to raise a child.

OPINION:


The recent tragic death of 21 teenagers at a tavern in East London should remind everyone what we mean as Africans when we say it takes a village to raise a child.

When tragedies like this happen it is time for us as a society to do some serious introspection about our role as enablers.

These young people were failed by some of the adults in their lives who foresaw or were made aware of the danger of what was coming but did nothing to stop it.

When tragedies like this happen it is time for us as a society to do some serious introspection about our role as enablers. These young people were failed by some of the adults in their lives who foresaw or were made aware of the danger of what was coming but did nothing to stop it.

An easy way out of accepting collective accountability would be to blame the parents for not doing enough to protect their children.

However, the reality is that teenagers lie to their parents all the time, and no adult would deliberately send their child to die.

While allowing children to go partying in the evening was previously unheard of, many modern parents genuinely believe that their offspring are wise enough to make responsible choices.

The community living around the now infamous Enyobeni also knew that this tavern was frequented by teenagers who engaged in drinking sprees almost every weekend.

This was also documented on the establishment’s social-media pages where children were photographed drinking ciders and dancing on tables.

This was a clear breach of the conditions of any liquor licence which prohibits the sale of alcohol to children under the age of 18.

The community living around the now infamous Enyobeni also knew that this tavern was frequented by teenagers who engaged in drinking sprees almost every weekend. This was also documented on the establishment’s social-media pages where children were photographed drinking ciders and dancing on tables.

Out of concern, some of the residents reported all these shenanigans to local law-enforcement authorities, but they said nothing was done. When the police eventually showed up on Sunday morning, there were 21 people already dead and dozens of others in hospital.

Some of the parents might have known about Saturday’s “pens down” party but it was adults at Enyobeni who gave their children copious amounts of alcohol.

They deliberately plied these teenagers with free liquor without considering the consequences of their actions.

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