Cape Town – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the Eastern Cape reportedly chastised the government for proceeding with a mass funeral for victims of the Enyobeni tavern tragedy despite the reservations of grieving relatives.
According to News24, families of the 21 youngsters who died at the Enyobeni tavern last month objected to a mass funeral for their loved ones, but the Eastern Cape government and Buffalo City Metro went ahead and organised the service with empty coffins.
The EFF threatened to report the province and metro to the Public Protector for wasting public resources by proceeding with a state-funded “fake” funeral.
The mass funeral was held at Scenery Park SportsField on Wednesday.
Only 19 caskets were displayed because one family had already buried their loved one on Tuesday, while another family had said their final goodbyes to their relative on Wednesday morning.
“This is a great wastage of public resources that could have effortlessly been used to provide service delivery to the community of Scenery Park, and be used to support the affected families from a wound that can never heal,” said EFF’s Eastern Cape chairperson Yazini Tetyana as quoted by the report.
Buffalo City Metro took to Twitter to deny going against the wishes of the bereaved families.
“The mass funeral service is in line with the wishes of the families. They did not want their children’s bodies paraded in public & we had to respect that. Burials will be done privately. We thank Avbob for footing the bill for coffins & all related burial services,” said the municipality in a tweet.
The mass funeral service is in line with the wishes of the families.
They did not want their children’s bodies paraded in public & we had to respect that.
Burials will be done privately.
We thank Avbob for footing the bill for coffins & all related burial services #MASSFUNERAL
— Buffalo City Metro Municipality (@OfficialBCMM) July 6, 2022
The teenagers, eight girls and 13 boys died at the tavern, in a residential area called Scenery Park.
Seventeen were found dead at the scene, while the rest died in hospital.
Reports said while the cause of death could not be confirmed, authorities ruled out early allegations of a stampede because the deceased allegedly had no external injuries.
Autopsies had been performed on all the deceased and samples were sent to a laboratory in the Western Cape for investigation, according to The South African.
“The report will be shared with the affected families as soon as investigations have been concluded, the report quoted the Eastern Cape government spokesperson Khuselwa Rantjie as saying.
Picture: Facebook/ Piaba Madokwe
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo