Nyaope addicts break memorial wall at Mooifontein Cemetery looking for ashes to smoke

Councillor Mabekenyane Thamahane points at the vandalised cremation walls in Mooifontein Cemetery.

It is said a cemetery is a place of sanctity, but Tembisa’s Mooifontein Cemetery seems to have become a playground for criminals.

There have been escalating complaints from the community about the graveyard being vandalised.

The community is also complaining that nyaope addicts have been desecrating the cremation memorial wall in their search for the ashes of the dead in order to smoke them.

In 2010, the Mooifontein development benefited from the building of 10 ablutions blocks which were to be used by communities during burial services.

The DA spokesperson for human settlements in Ekurhuleni, councillor Mabekenyane Thamahane, recently accompanied a family to this cemetery for the burial of a loved one.

“I was shocked and embarrassed by the state of the toilets. It is unhygienic and appalling. The toilets have been vandalised and there are no windows or doors. The toilet seats were removed and the toilets have been used for criminal activity as indicated by burnt electrical cables that were found in one of the toilets,” said Thamahane.

Councillor Mabekenyane Thamahane points out a headstone that was vandalised and abandoned next to a toilet.

Thamahane said he also visited the memorial wall where members place the ashes of their loved ones who were cremated.

“I was appalled at what I found. The boxes were broken open and the memorial wall vandalised, allegedly by drug users. The total lack of respect for the dead is of serious concern. I am calling on the department to take this matter seriously and rectify the sorry state of this cemetery. It is supposed to be a place of remembrance and respect. Instead, it has been left to be vandalised,” added Thamahane.

Vandalised toilets at the Mooifontein Cemetery.

Thamahane said he is calling on the relevant departments to escalate this matter and take the concerns of the community seriously.

“We cannot allow for the memories of our loved ones to fade, and we should respect their final resting place,” said Thamahane.

The Tembisan has sent a request for comment to the metro. At the time of publication, no comment had been received.

Malebo Tseke

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