City apology over cows in crematorium

2013-12-06 00:00

MUNICIPAL officials who used four calves to test the newly built R6 million cremators at the embattled Mountain Rise crematorium face possible disciplinary action.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi has expressed his apologies to the Hindu community and has committed to a full investigation into the matter.

Nkosi, speaking at yesterday’s Executive Committee (Exco) meeting, also vowed to look into the ongoing problems at the crematorium.

He said he expected a report into the investigation on the state of the crematorium by early next year.

Yesterday, The Witness ran a story on the outrage from the Hindu community on the use of the calves.

A cow is regarded as a mother and is sacred to the Hindus, who are forbidden to eat beef.

A test run was done by infrastructure services official Yusuf Ismail and the matter was presented during the community services portfolio committee on Tuesday.

ANC Exco member and chairperson of the community services portfolio committee, Manilal Inderjit, a practising Hindu, was concerned at how officials had failed to consult his committee on the matter. He called for a full investigation

DA Exco member Mergan Chetty seconded Inderjit’s proposal, saying it was unacceptable that such a decision had been taken without consultation.

“This is a very serious matter to the Hindu community and the municipality has a duty to bring those responsible to book,” he said.

DA caucus leader Bill Lambert told council that it was hardly six months ago when they were all excited that the municipality had working cremators after years of problems.

“What ever happened to the promises made during the official handing over that there was a guarantee on the new cremators?” asked Lambert.

Lambert said this drama would never have happened if the cremators had been working perfectly as they were promised.

“I remember that we came back from the handover with renewed hope that finally we would have a working cremator, but all that has been dashed.

“Somebody really needs to answer because we can’t let this go,” he said.

He said he hoped that there would be a speedy investigation into the matter.

Mayor Chris Ndlela said the issue was a sensitive one that needed to be handled with care because people came from different religious beliefs.

The committee also heard how the municipality was running out of burial space and how they needed to urgently address this matter.

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