The City of Cape Town is investigating how best to address the ongoing theft and vandalism at cemeteries around the metro.
Mayoral Committee Member for Community Service and Health, Zahid Badroodien said vandalism and misconduct on burial grounds have become rife in the current socio-economic climate and is detrimental to the community.
“Cemeteries are vast portions of land and it is impossible to secure each grave, especially in recent months when the demand for burials was at its peak,” Badroodien said.
According to Badroodien, the City provides full perimeter fencing at cemeteries and where necessary security personnel are concerned.
“Incidents of stolen fencing occur frequently, however incidents of memorial work being vandalised are brought to our attention when reported, as the City does not keep records of all memorial items placed on individual graves,” Badroodien added.
However, when Mitchell’s Plain resident Oscar Jasman, went to visit his late parents’ gravesite at the Klip Road Cemetery in Grassy Park over the Easter weekend, he discovered a vandalised grave.
“As I approached my parents’ grave emotions of heartbreak, disappointment and outrage was experienced all at once seeing my parents grave desecrated,” Jasman said.
A disappointed Jasman told Cape Town ETC this incident has brought back memories of his parents death. “This has caused a world of emotions to erupt into memories of their burial, we want the City of Cape Town to take responsibility,” Jasman added.
This is also the second time that Jasman had to go through this after his mother’s grave was vandalised in 2019, IOL reported.
Badroodien added that staff are generally on-site to ensure that grounds and pathways are kept clean and that various City Departments including Recreation and Parks, Social Development and Law Enforcement are working together to deal with the challenges they face daily.
“The community can also play a valuable role by reporting cases of vandalism to the City’s Law Enforcement Department and the SAPS, with substantial information that can lead to developing a strong case against perpetrators, wherever possible,” Badroodien added.
Picture: Oscar Jasman