Residents demand answers on ‘missing’ tombstones

2018-01-31 06:02
Mountain RiseCemetery.PHOTO: sourced

Mountain RiseCemetery.PHOTO: sourced

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SINCE Maritzburg Fever ran a story on missing tombstones (Tombstones go ‘missing’, January 24), more residents have come forward claiming that they have had the same experience and are demanding answers from the municipality.

In last week’s article, Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said while they are looking at placing more security at the Mountain Rise Cemetery, it must be noted that if family members fail to pay the company that erected the tombstone, the company then sends staff to remove it.

Siphokazi Khumalo said she did not know that there are other people who have the same problem as her.

“I only realised when I was reading the newspaper that I am not the only one. We want answers on how this is being allowed to happen.

“My mother’s tombstone was fully paid for when it was erected.

“The municipality needs to investigate further and give us answers,” she said.

Khumalo said her mother’s tombstone was erected in January 2012 and the slab for her tombstone was stolen in 2017.

“My family and I have been visiting my mother’s grave all these years to clean and maintain the tombstone.On Mother’s Day last year we went to her grave as usual but the slab was missing.

“At first we thought that it was the street children but sitting down and thinking about it, we concluded it could never be them,” she said. “If we do not deal with this now it will continue and more people will become victims.”

Alex Antony of Woodlands said the tombstone on his parents’ grave went missing over the festive season.

He said he was certain that an undertaker had not removed the tombstone from his loved ones’ burial site as he had paid for it in full.

“I have receipts of full payments made to those that erected my parents’ tombstone which cost me R8 590 at the time of February 2005.

“I want to know if the municipality knows any of the undertakers who have removed any tombstone,” he said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Mafumbatha did not respond to questions that were sent to her by the time of going to print.

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