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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Spoiling graves an outrage

By unknown | Apr 02, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Graves are sacred places containing the remains of ancestors.

Graves are sacred places containing the remains of ancestors.

These burial sites are a living monument to the lineage of respective families, to whom they are a source of guidance, peace and spiritual contentment.

So the vandalising of graves is generally frowned on and interpreted by many communities as an unpardonable act of sacrilege.

Hence the outrage among West Rand families affected by vegetable farmer Vincent Sequiera's decision to flatten 1000 graves on his farm in Randfontein on the West Rand - to make way for a carrot field.

Worse, Sequiera rubbed salt into the wounds by not even bothering to consult the affected families before bulldozing the graves. This despite advice from officials of a funeral parlour warning him against the move.

Few would believe his homespun yarn that he didn't know - an excuse made all the more suspicious and nonsensical by the accusation that the graves of mainly white families were spared his indiscretion.

After being confronted by the angry families and local councillors Sequiera has now promised to restore the graves. How he intends making amends when the damage has already been done, remains to be seen.

We often wonder why relations between farm communities are so polarised, when the answers are there for all of us to see.


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