East London – The comments made by Police Minister Bheki Cele that parents should take responsibility for the Enyobeni Tavern tragedy have offended the community.
Cele made the comments shortly after visiting the Enyobeni Tavern tragedy scene last week.
The comments have come back to haunt him.
It has now been revealed that during Monday’s closed-door meeting at Scenery Park community hall in East London, the families of the 21 deceased pupils from local schools raised concerns over the remarks by Cele.
NEWS: ANC MP, Nonhlanhla Ndaba who is leading a portfolio committee currently in East London in the wake of eNyobeni Tavern tragedy says some of the families yesterday told them they are not happy with Minister Bheki Cele's comment that they are must take responsibility. @IOL pic.twitter.com/vuXneA7Jdx— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) July 5, 2022
This was revealed by ANC MP Nonhlanhla Ndaba who is the chairperson of the portfolio committee on women, youth, and persons with disabilities.
This was during an open engagement between the committee and stakeholders like the police, the Eastern Cape Liquor Board and others.
The gathering was held at the East London international convention centre on Tuesday afternoon.
During the visit, Cele, while addressing the community in Zulu, said the parents must also take responsibility, implying that it was through their recklessness that the minors went partying, consuming alcohol and later met their painful fate.
“As a parent, If you have a 13-year-old child who is not back by 12am, 1am… listen to me, I am not here to nurse you and be liked by you here, I am not here to say what you want to hear if you don’t want to hear it, that’s ok.
“What I am saying here is about the law and parents have a responsibility.
“How do you justify sleeping pretty while a 13-year-old is not home?”
Cele said during his address, pitting himself against the community members.
On Tuesday, Ndaba said the parents are still seething over the comment.
“Some of the things that were said by the parents they did raise their concern about how they take offence by the remarks that was made by Cele saying where were the parents?
“But we cannot answer for the minister, the minister can answer for himself,” she said.
The SAPS came under fire as the families alleged that the chief investigator is hardly in the office when he is needed for consultations and paperwork.
“Also, the bereaved families raised concerns about the investigating officer who they say they can’t find him at work when he is needed,” she said.
Speaking at the same gathering of stakeholders, the province’s MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison Weziwe Tikana admitted that they have an alcohol problem in the Eastern Cape province.
She said in some places they have more taverns than schools and churches combined.
“We have a problem as a society,” she said, later adding that there are 7 700 registered taverns and about 18 000 shebeens, but some are not registered.
Tikana said the SAPS investigation into the tragedy is yet to be concluded despite having the mass funeral billed for Wednesday morning at Scenery Park sports field.
“The investigation is still in process, we can announce that for now… they have finalised whatever we have to do from the premises, but we are waiting for the results from the lab,” she said.