Police minister Bheki Cele declared the day of the burial of the 21 children who died at Enyobeni tavern a day of peace.
“However, this does not mean that war is not coming,” Cele said.
“This is a very awkward day because we are at a funeral where parents are burying their children and it shouldn’t be that way.
“When the news of the tragedy broke, I visited the area of Scenery Park and the community was standing by in shock.
“We need to stand together and fight for one cause, including the police, community and tavern owners because someone somewhere must answer as what brought us here in the first place, what actually happened.”
He promised to go back to Scenery Park where he would meet the community to answer questions and discuss ways in which the community could be made safe for children.
“We agreed with the premier [ Oscar Mabuyane] as sent by the president [ Cyril Ramaphosa] that we will go back to the community to engage with them,” Cele said.
“There are questions that need to be answered but not in this venue. We want to know who has been arrested for this tragedy.
“We were told that police and investigators are working on this case so that an arrest is made.
“We were told that the issue of young children in taverns has been long reported to the police but nothing was done. We need to answer to the this community when we go back to it.
“People with taverns will have to tell us if they want to kill our children or make profit. The community says the youth doesn’t have alternative recreational facilities to go.”
Cele said the liquor board needed to explain what criteria was used before issuing a liquor licence. He said authorities also needed to review the municipality’s role in extending operating hours for liquor traders. DispatchLIVE
Police minister Bheki Cele speaks at the mass funeral for Enyobeni tavern victims in Scenery Park on Wednesday.