THERE were scenes of jubilation at Worcester village yesterday when a new cemetery was used for the first time.
The graveyard has been was overshadowed by controversy for more than a year.
The burial took place after the Malatji clan offered to bury their deceased relative, Matome Malatji, on the piece of land that was turned into a graveyard by the Maruleng municipality early last year.
Municipality spokesperson John Madida Seokoma said yesterday that the region's residents had feared they would be visited upon by "evil spirits" because, "according to tradition, the first corpse to be buried in a graveyard should be someone from a royal family".
The deceased's uncle, Samuel Malatji, said:
"We are very proud that my nephew was the first to be buried in this graveyard - despite all the odds."