Siyakhangela Ngevu, the owner of Enyobeni Tavern where under-aged children died on Sunday morning rubbished the claims that he sprayed a harmful substance at the crowd to chase the youngsters away.
He is claiming that he was not at the tavern at the time of the incident and was contacted by his security guards to come to the venue due to chaos where young people were forcing themselves into the venue. He adds that someone else might have sprayed a substance, but it was not him.
Picture: Scene outside Nyobeni Tavern following the death of young children
The big question is, who is to blame for the deaths of these children where the youngest one is only 13 years old? Why are underage children allowed in taverns?
The tavern disaster is a national problem and can happen anywhere in the country. Social ills are the order of the day. Many tavern owners are breaking the law by selling alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs to underage children after operating hours. Should they be exonerated from the blame?
Picture: Community of Scenery Park, East London
A lot of people are blaming the parents of the deceased children, asking why they allow their children to go partying at night, and why they allow them to consume alcohol.
Yes, parents are responsible for their children, but their duties and responsibilities are limited because they are not always in the presence of their children. Out there on the streets, parents can not control what happens in schools and taverns, hence it does not exonerate abusers and predators from their criminal acts. They should shoulder responsibility and take the blame.
Picture: Inside Nyobeni tavern, venue packed with underage children consuming alcohol
This problem is social, structural, economic, psychological, and political and therefore requires political solutions. It's not just about parenting or lack thereof. It's deep and multifaceted.
Every adult in the community, including parents, teachers, the government, and the police, have a role and responsibility in this regard. They can't be exonerated. We have a social department run by elders to ensure that children are safe.
When it comes to the safe keeping of children in the community, no parent should look the other way. No one should be exonerated. In the final analysis, it is a collective responsibility.
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