Human remains found

2018-09-26 06:01
Pathologists removing the remains found by artisan miners next to Green Street in Kimberley.Photo: Boipelo Mere

Pathologists removing the remains found by artisan miners next to Green Street in Kimberley.Photo: Boipelo Mere

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After enjoying lunch, residents of West End were left cold with shock when human bones were dug up by artisan miners in the veld near Green Street on Heritage Day.

At least two knee-high graves were dug-up when the miners were searching for diamonds.

According to one of the miners, Molwantwa Mapoya, he did not take notice of the first few pieces of bones that he found and continued to throw them to one side while sifting.

He was not aware that his neighbour was making the same discovery at the time.

It only dawned on them that they were in fact dealing with human remains when the neighbour discovered a human skull.

“He called me, and that is when we discovered a hip bone, some jaws, some fingers, and other bones. We then called the police,” said Mapoya.

Residents staying nearby are now concerned about the drop in value of their property, following the discovery.

“This is shocking to see that we have been living on top of graves. These people might have been buried here, right under our noses, without our knowledge,” expressed Wayne Dowland, a resident.

“Who knows, maybe even our homes were built on top of the graves.

“Although the remains looks very old we are now concerned as to whether there are not newer bodies here,” he continued.

According to unconfirmed reports, there used to be a police station on that spot during the apartheid era.

The residents hope for a quick explanation from the South African Heritage Council regarding the history of their area.

Although David Morris, archeologist at the McGregor Museum, says there has not been any formal notification from any relevant authorities with regard to the findings, he would expect activities to be halted at the area until heritage impact assessment procedures are conducted.

He does not want to speculate but highlights that there are a number of unregistered mass graves around Kimberley, including in the areas around the Green Street graveyard.

He pointed out that some are in Kimberley North, on which houses were build.

By the time of going to print, no comment was received from the Sol Plaatje Municipality, the premier’s office or the Department of Mineral Resources on the way forward.

  • The miners vow that they will not be moved by the gruesome discovery as they have no other income apart from the pieces of diamonds they get from the area.

“We will continue to dig here but will be cautious as we do not know whether those were the only remains on this land.

“The concern is now that if we leave it here, no one will know whether there are more remains or not,” a miner emphasised.

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