The Mlungisi cemetery in Pelem Road has been looted of railings round graves, its main gate, razor wire from parts of the fencing and about 100 tombstones were overturned.
The vandalism was witnessed by a resident of the area, Siphiwe Dyonase, when he went to his late mother’s grave on Thursday.
On the same day The Rep reporters went to witness the destruction at the cemetery and it appeared that the items were waiting to be collected.
Dyonase said,“I was shocked to find the railings stripped from my family’s graves and, as a result, I struggled to find them.”
He said his last visit had been two weeks ago when he went to see what needed to be repaired. This was when he noticed parts of the railing had been removed.
He urged Mlungisi residents to go to the cemetery and see the damages to their family graves.
“It is a sign of disrespect to have people stealing from graves. We demand respect from Mlungisi people.
“If I find anyone stripping material from any of my family members’ graves I will be forced to take the law into my own hands. I do not think I need to go to the police, because I was the one who spent the money to bury my parents.”
Dyonase said EMLM should deal with the scrap metal dealers in Komani which traded in cemetery railings and added that if there was no market for the railings, the looting would cease at the cemetery.
He also urged the municipality to charge people who used the cemetery as a short cut with trespassing, as they were trampling over graves.
“A graveyard is not a short cut. EMLM must close the hole made by people in the surrounding wall to create a short cut and place a security guard at the cemetery.”
EMLM spokesperson Gcobani Msindwana had not responded to The Rep’s questions on the matter by the time of going to print.