Pretoria — Communities need to work with the police to ensure that shebeens and taverns that have underage children as patrons are closed and their trading licences withdrawn, says North West Premier Thandi Modise.
Conveying condolences to the family of a 15-year-old girl, whose body was found in a shallow grave in Verdwaal village near Itsoseng, Modise called for intensified enforcement of liquor laws and a clampdown on liquor outlets that are violating their conditions of trade.
According to police, the body of the young girl was found partially buried in the bush on Wednesday following a search after she was reported missing on Sunday. Her parents reportedly last saw her on Friday when she went to school.
A fellow learner alleged that they both went to a local tavern after school. The same friend gave police a statement to the effect that the last time she saw the deceased was when she walked her home after midnight.
"We need to reclaim our streets and neighbourhoods from criminals. We cannot afford to lose our children to lawlessness and the greed of those who entice them with alcohol and drugs at such tender ages," said Modise.
The Premier called on the community to come up with information that might assist police in their investigation and lead to the arrest of the persons responsible for the horrible murder.
Sergeant Philani Nkwalase of the North West police confirmed that a post mortem would be conducted to determine the cause of death and that no arrests have thus far been made.