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A crime against the dead: nyaope addicts DOING THIS TO graveyards WHICH SHOCK MSANZI- Limpopo

A crime against the dead: nyaope addicts accused of destroying graveyard

Residents of Mapoteng village in Ga-Masemola woke up to the shocking news that their cemetery had been vandalised.

They are heartbroken and left with unanswered questions.   

Since that shocking incident that caused tremors on the night of 24 November when 50 tombstones were vandalised, many pointed accusing fingers at nyaope addicts as the village is grappling with substance abuse.

Sinah Maserumule, who stays a few metres away from the cemetery yard, said the incident has caused severe pain to many families.

She said: “Affected families are crying for the second time. After making peace with the loss of their loved ones, some elements just came and disturb their eternal peace. Now we are asking ourselves who did this and what exactly triggered such barbaric anger. This has never happened in our surroundings and we hope it will be the last time.”

Phahlamohlaka Phaahla said his father, whose tombstone was unveiled in September, was among those whose burial site was ravaged.

He said, “We have spent thousands of rands for the unveiling ceremony of our father  

but now it was destroyed and we don’t know who committed this heinous crime against the dead. Whoever did this will never have peace.”      

Slucks Mokete, the community leader who organised a meeting with several affected families on Monday, said they have agreed to open criminal cases.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the spokesperson for the Limpopo police said he knows about the incident but no case has been opened yet.

Image source: TheNewFrame

Traditionally cemetery management only involves the allocation of land for burial, the digging and filling of graves, and the maintenance of the grounds and landscaping. The construction and maintenance of headstones and other grave monuments are usually the responsibilities of surviving families and friends. However, increasingly, many people regard the resultant collection of individual headstones, concrete slabs and fences (some of which may be decayed or damaged) to be aesthetically unappealing, leading to new cemetery developments either standardising the shape or design of headstones or plaques, sometimes by providing a standard shaped marker as part of the service provided by the cemetery.

Grave digging

Cemetery authorities normally employ a full-time staff of caretakers to dig graves. The term "gravedigger" is still used in casual speech, though many cemeteries have adopted the term "caretaker", since their duties often involve maintenance of the cemetery grounds and facilities. The employment of skilled personnel for the preparation of graves is done not only to ensure the grave is dug in the correct location and at the correct depth, but also to relieve families from having to dig the grave for a recently dead relative, and as a matter of public safety, in order to prevent inexperienced visitors from injuring themselves, to ensure unused graves are properly covered, and to avoid legal liability that would result from an injury related to an improperly dug or uncovered grave. Preparation of the grave is usually done before the mourners arrive for the burial. The cemetery caretakers fill the grave after the burial, generally after the mourners have departed. Mechanical equipment, such as backhoes, are used to reduce labour cost of digging and filling, but some hand shovelling may still be required.

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Ga-Masemola Mapoteng Sinah Maserumule


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