Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva

Johannesburg - The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) on Thursday said it has received a "shocking and disturbing" complaint from the Vaal about an informal settlement that has mushroomed in a grave site.

The informal settlement has been crudely named "Hlala kwa bafileyo" - isiZulu for "living among the dead". 

Chairperson of the CRL Rights Commission, Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva, said it was shocking and "totally unacceptable" for anyone to illegally occupy a grave site.

"The other disturbing aspect of this situation is also that in this place there is a crèche that is being operated, where children play around the graves as if these are their toys or recreational facilities," lamented Mkhwanazi Xaluva.

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She said the commission had contacted the relevant municipal authorities to urge them to remove the settlement. Mkhwanazi Xaluva said she told the municipality to commit to specific timelines during which this matter will be resolved. 

"CRL Rights commission urges the municipality to remove the residents of Hlala Kwa Bafileyo from this area, particularly, as it is reported that these people have illegally built their homes on top of the graves," said Mkhwanazi Xaluva.