Cape Town - The Mowbray Muslim Cemetery has been desecrated with 80 tombstones removed from graves and placed in cult symbols, according to a report by Voice of the Cape Radio.
The cemetery caretakers made this shocking discovery on Wednesday morning, said local Muslim-interest radio station Voice of the Cape (VOC).
“Burial workers arrived at the upper part of the cemetery and found roughly eighty tombstones had been arranged in what appears to be cult symbols,” VOC reported on its Facebook page.
“Supervisor of the maqbara (burial ground) Ismail Abrahams says when they arrived at 8am wanting to continue their excavations to prepare holes for the deceased, they discovered the eerie symbols.”
Abrahams could not be reached on his phone to confirm the report.
According to VOC, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) was on scene early this afternoon to inspect the scene, and expressed horror at the desecration of graves.
“It is with total sadness that we stand at the Mowbray maqbara today where we see the desecration of the maqbara… I’m very emotional,” said Shaykh Riad Fataar.
“We consider this extremely serious and we’ve advised the board of the Mowbray cemetery to lay a case at the police station. This is completely unacceptable.”
The VOC Facebook post was shared well over 1000 in the space of just 3 hours. The pictures attached to the post have been blurred out to conceal details and disturbing imagery.
The Imamat Council of Mitchells Plain called on community members to spread the message, so that people can come identify loved ones graves to replace the vandalised tombstones.
“Can you please pass the message to anyone you know whose family has passed on recently and buried at the top of the hill at Mowbray cemetery,” the Council wrote on Facebook. “The curators have asked people to come and identify their loved ones graves so they can put the tombstones back or get a new one made.”
Community members who saw the post on VOC’s Facebook expressed shock, horror and concern as many have loved ones who are buried there and whose graves may be affected.
“I'm terrified to think what's going on, I have grandparents and my baby son buried there,” wrote Yusuf Effendi.
“My mother is buried there ... I am livid,” said Roldah Hayes.
Kashiefa Mathews wrote: “My brother in law (was) recently buried there, and my grandfather and aunt, this is absolutely ruthless and so upsetting.”“Sick beyond words... We all have loved ones buried there,” wrote Nurahn Samaai.