Gravesite becoming dumping sites. Picture: Supplied
Gravesite becoming dumping sites. Picture: Supplied

Gravesite vandalism leaves Cape Town families devastated

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Gravesite vandalism, which includes theft, sleeping quarters of the homeless and a dumping site are leaving Cape Town families devastated and calling for help from the City.

Oscar Jasman, from Mitchells Plain, went to visit his mother Adelaide Plato’s grave at the Klip Cemetery in Ottery over the weekend, and made the horrifying discovery of the vandalised grave.

Jasman said on approaching the grave and the vehicle still in motion, he looked towards the grave on his left.

"I checked and rechecked thinking we must be at the wrong row of graves as I noticed a grave was damaged," he said.

The tombstone before it was vandalised. Picture: Supplied
Vandalised and stolen tombstone. Pic Supplied

The Vanyaza family from Khayelitsha also found out that their loved ones’ graves had been destroyed and covered in trash.

Zuko Vanyaza said the government needs to fence the cemetery and employ security guards. He said it looks like there was ongoing vandalism, and that only thing that could help was to fence them and have people looking after them.

Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Ndithini Tyhido condemned the destruction of Khayelitsha's graveyard by criminals and called on the entire community to stand up and stop the scourge.

Tyhido said people's graves were sacred and deserved respect.

Homeless people have been seen sleeping between tombstones. Pic Supplied

Community Services and Health Mayco member Zahid Badroodien said, in recent months, there has been an increase in theft and vandalism at their cemeteries.

Badroodien said fences, flowers, bricks, grave memorialisation have all been affected. "We ensure that security is present especially at high-risk cemeteries. Some facilities have dogs as an extra measure too."

He said they were ensuring that where it was viable they repair and replace hardened security features like fences and lightning.

"We are also looking to establish community partnerships with neighbourhood watches (NHW) to help boost security presence at those and other facilities that are equally vulnerable.“

Cape Argus

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