I agree with police minister Bheki Cele for questioning why parents would go to sleep at night when their 13-year-old child is not home at 10pm.
Truly speaking, if parents cared, most of the 21 lives lost at Enyobeni tavern would not have been lost. Children aged 13 to 18 are still immature and they need parental guidance. That is why the actual cause of death at the tavern is not clear – first it was a stampede, then teargas and carbon monoxide
Those who were there are probably still too young to distinguish between kinds of gases. What is more worrying for me is the purported reason they went to the tavern on that particular night in the first place. It is said that they were going to celebrate “pens down”, presumably for finishing midyear exams!
Why do black people always celebrate any occurrence, good or bad? I mean the last day of midyear exams for a high school pupil hardly translates to the end of school life. It would be worrying if schoolchildren cannot wait to close their books and drop pens so they can run to a tavern.
It is my view that most parents do not understand what parenting really entails, and our nation needs to engage in dialogue on the subject.
At least two testimonies about deceased children paint them as “obedient people”. An obedient child under 18 cannot be in a tavern at 2am, and parents and society at large need to acknowledge that.
P Modise, by email