President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his condolences and expressed concern about the death of 20 teenagers.
While the President awaits more information on the incident, his thoughts are with the families who have lost children as well as families who are awaiting confirmation of how their children may have been affected.
The President is, however, also concerned about the reported circumstances under which such young people were gathered at a venue which, on the face of it, should be off-limits to persons under the age of 18.
Miserable incident during youth month
Ramaphosa says, “This tragedy is made even graver by its occurrence during Youth Month- a time where we celebrate young people, advocate and advance opportunities for improved socio-economic conditions for the youth of our nation.”
Police Minister Bheki Cele is also at the scene, together with a forensic team, to investigate the cause of death, and what led to the incident.
The president expects the law to take its course following investigations into the tragedy.
Blame with the owner of the establishment
Twenty people were killed in a stampede in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Enyobeni tavern at Scenery Park in the Eastern Cape.
The majority of the deceased are believed to be underage.
National Liquor Traders convener Lucky Ntimane says that they are saddened by the loss of life.
Ntimane says the blame lies with the owner of the establishment.
“We clearly hold the tavern owner liable for whatever has happened there because everyone who goes into a tavern or place of enjoyment is at the hands of the person who owns that establishment. We’re sending our condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this tragic incident. These incidents happen way after the closing hours of such a tavern, also that there were underage children in that establishment, this should never have happened. This tavern should be closed.”
Watch: MEC calls for a tavern where 20 people were killed in a stampede to shut down