Muslim cemetery desecration case: Breakthrough imminent, says neighbourhood watch

Mowbray Muslim Cemetery. (Jenni Evans, News24)
Mowbray Muslim Cemetery. (Jenni Evans, News24)

A breakthrough into who is behind the desecration of at least 80 graves at Mowbray Muslim cemetery in Cape Town is close at hand after a neighbourhood watch received a tip-off and recovered some items from the graveyard. 

"We received some information from someone who lives the mountain," said Cedric Thomas, the spokesperson for U-Watch neighbourhood watch.

"We found a tombstone, we found pot plants, we found some of the railing that people put around the graves," Thomas told News24. 

He said they even found some of the special sheeting that the dead were swaddled in. 

The neighbourhood watch is still putting out feelers for more information about the incident. 

The discovery of the ripped out tombstones laid out in the shape of a cross and some shoved into open graves in the shape of triangles was made on Wednesday. 

Thomas said they were also trying to access CCTV footage to find out who was responsible. 

Earlier, Ganief Hendricks, the leader of the Al-Jamah-ah party, said if this was not a Halloween prank, it was the work of Satanists. 

"It is evil," added Hendricks.

He also demanded to know why the State Security Agency was "so slack" as it had failed to detect the incident which would have required some planning, and a lot of effort. 

Hendricks said the cemetery's caretaker had retired three weeks ago.

Earlier this week, the Muslim Judicial Council's cemetery management committee head, Sheikh Riad Fataar, said families had to relive the trauma of burying loved ones as recently as a week ago.

"Some are saying it's Satanism, some are saying it has to do with Halloween. I am sending an email this morning to the University of Cape Town's religion department to find out what these symbols mean.

The police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property. 

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