Durban — The SACP has called on young people to be taught the importance of respecting cemeteries after a group was seen consuming alcohol outside the fenced graveyard of two Struggle icons, Moses Mabhida and Johnny Makhathini, in Pietermaritzburg.
This Sunday Tribune reporter spotted the group, who had parked their vehicles from which music was playing, while some relaxed on camp chairs and displayed cooler boxes on New Year’s Day.
It was unclear whether these young people often used the vicinity of the Heroes Acre at Imbali township as their entertainment venue. The site is where Mabhida, who was SACP general secretary, was reburied in 2006 after his remains were repatriated from Mozambique, where died in 1986.
ANC stalwart Makhathini was also reburied at the site in 2010 after his remains had been brought from Zambia, where he died in 1988.
When told about the incident, SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo expressed concern that once young people had identified the site as the perfect spot for entertaining themselves, they would continue frequenting it.
Mashilo blamed the young people’s “immoral behaviour” on the lack of security at the graveyard, which should be provided by the Msunduzi Municipality.
Makhathini’s family members could not be located for comment.
Mabhida’s grandson, Linda Mabhida, blamed the municipality for not properly securing the site.
Msunduzi Municipality acting spokesperson Anele Makhanya indicated that the municipality was not worried if the drinking was not taking place inside the graveyard.
“The Heroes Acre is fenced/ enclosed. No one could have entered to indulge in alcohol there,” Makhanya said.
“There is a possibility that somewhere in the vicinity these activities did take place.
“The municipality is indeed providing security to the area,” said Makhanya.