The Sheikh M Hassen Ghaibie Shah Kramat on Signal Hill is among a number of kramats nominated for National Heritage status. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
The Sheikh M Hassen Ghaibie Shah Kramat on Signal Hill is among a number of kramats nominated for National Heritage status. File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Heritage status draws closer for Cape’s ’Circle of Tombs’

By Francesca Villette Time of article published Oct 13, 2020

Share this article:

Cape Town – The Cape’s “Circle of Tombs” has moved a step closer to gaining National Heritage status and needs the public’s contribution towards the declaration process.

In ensuring the preservation and protection of the kramats, the Cape Mazaar Society and Vida Memoria Heritage Consultants are driving the nominations.

The kramats involved in this process are: Sheikh Yusuf Kramat in Faure, Sayed Mahmud in Summit Road, Constantia, Sheikh Abdul Mutalib in Constantia Forest, Sheikh Abdurahman Matebe Shah in Constantia, Tuan Dea Koasa and Tuan Ismail Dea Malela in Simon’s Town, Sheikh M Hassen Ghaibie Shah and Tuan Kaape-ti-low on Signal Hill, Sayed Moegsien bin Alawie al Aidarus and Sheikh A ibn Muhammad al Iraqi in Mowbray, and Sheikh Noorul Mubeen in Oudekraal.

They said more than 250 years ago a prophecy was made that there would be a “Circle of Islam” around the Cape, and according to local beliefs the circle is complete, comprising the tombs of Auliyah (friends of the Almighty) who were brought as slaves to the Cape.

In the nomination submission, Vida said: “The kramats are of heritage significance in terms of religious, historical and cultural value. The declaration of the kramats would ensure the preservation and protection of these heritage resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

“The kramats are not only places of spirituality but are tangible signs of the emergence and spread of the Islamic faith throughout the Western Cape and the rest of South Africa. The Saints resting in these holy shrines played a significant role in developing contemporary South Africa.”

Cape Mazaar Society chairperson Mahmood Limbada urged the public to get involved.

“This is a unique history to the Western Cape. We urge the public to make an effort to support this, to preserve our history,” Limbada said.

SA Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) built environment unit manager Ben Mwasinga said the process was started more than two years ago with one initial kramat up for declaration.

Once building the dossier, the importance of other kramats also came to light, he said.

To comment, visit website www.vidamemoria.co.za, or email [email protected] vidamemoria.co.za

Comments must be submitted by December 15. All comments received will be included within a participation report to be submitted to the Sahra.

Cape Times

Share this article: