Ramaphosa at Enyobeni funeral: Young people lost to scourge of alcohol

Ramaphosa at Enyobeni funeral: Young people lost to scourge of alcohol

President Cyril Ramaphosa used the mass funeral of 21 young people who died at a tavern in the Eastern Cape to tackle the issue of underage drinking.

Cyril Ramaphosa

The 21 victims, who were mostly teenagers, died in unclear circumstances at the Enyobeni tavern in an incident that deeply shook the country.


“We are losing our future generation to the scourge of under-age drinking,” the president told mourners.


"Alcohol is highly addictive. It is something to be consumed in moderation and responsibly, and only by those who are of the legal age to do so and mature enough to handle its effects.” 


The police are yet to wrap up their investigation into the cause of death, although officials have ruled out a stampede, and autopsy results are still to be made public. 

ALSO READ: Liquor association: Tavern owners failed Enyobeni victims


“We do not know exactly what killed our children, but we do know that the law was broken that night and probably many nights before,” Ramaphosa said. 


“Many young people under the age of 18 were drinking alcohol that was sold to them. The youngest just began to imagine, the youngest was just 13 years old.” 


Police Minister Bheki Cele, who also spoke at the funeral, vowed to clamp down on taverns selling alcohol to children.


“I want this to be a peaceful day but that doesn’t mean that the war is not coming,” he said, as he promised to return to Scenery Park. 

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