THEFT of the marble from the graves at the Seatides Cemetery has sparked outrage among family members of people buried at the cemetery.
More than six gravesites have been demolished and the marble stripped off — leaving the remains of the graves falling apart.
The relatives of the deceased suspect that people behind the theft of marble in the cemetery target the graves with new tombstones.
Hambanathi resident Blessing Malamba, who was visibly upset, said his family visited the cemetery in July to clean up their family member’s graves.
“When we visited the cemetery in July there was nothing wrong at the cemetery. When we visited the graves this month, we saw that the cemetery has become an eyesore. More than six graves had been destroyed and the marble removed from each grave. I buried my relatives in this place because I was hoping it was one of the more secure cemeteries in Durban,” Malamba said.
He urged eThekwini Municipality to deploy security guards to be stationed at the cemetery.
“The gate is open and the concrete fence is collapsing. This is unacceptable. The dead are not at peace in this cemetery. We believe that a cemetery should be respected,’’ Malamba added.
Ward councillor Geoff Pullan said: “Any normal person would be distressed to see what happened in this cemetery.
“It is quite disturbing to see that some people have gone to the cemetery and removed quite a few pieces of the marble from the graves.
“In my view, these people come into the cemetery in a vehicle because I don’t think anyone can go around carting pieces of marble [on foot]. The four pieces of the marble that form the rectangle of the grave were removed in almost six graves.
“I think the municipality should look in to this matter and ensure that there’s somebody who is going to look after this place all the time,” Pullan said.
Coastal Weekly sent an email to eThekwini Municipality for a comment on Tuesday, September 25 however, at the time of going to press, spokesperson Mandla Nsele had not yet responded.