Living with the dead
A Soweto man has turned a tombstone at the Doornkop cemetery into his home
CEMETERIES are generally regarded as sites that the living only visit to lay wreaths in memory of the dead and, in some cases, speak to ancestors.
Some see them as ghostly sites that have to be avoided at all costs. But a Soweto man has turned a tombstone at the Doornkop cemetery into his home.
Linda Ntabadzi of Zola 3 even uses some of the flowerpots normally left on the graves as part of the decor for his "mansion".
Ntabadzi, 32, normally disappears during the day, leaving his possessions lying around. He pitches again in the evening to sleep.
He was discovered by a family who had gone to the cemetery on Easter Monday to clean their late family member's grave. They were horrified to find a man resting comfortably in the cemetery.
Priscilla Mlangeni said they were shocked and concerned when they found Ntabadzi relaxing in his "house".
"This was frightening, I have never seen anything like it. The man was relaxing on someone's grave."
On Wednesday evening Sowetan found Ntabadzi getting dressed and tidying up his home.
"I am cleaning up (my home) as you can see," he said.
His neighbour in Zola 3, Mandla Tshabalala, said Ntabadzi used to be a street hawker but everything went wrong when he started smoking dagga.
His cousin Lucky Ntabadzi said Linda was a troublesome man. He said Ntabadzi was addicted to dagga.
"He once tried to burn down the family house, and when he smokes he becomes unstable," Lucky said.