Furore over graves

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Families in East London whose relatives' graves were allegedly demolished by the Buffalo City Municipality want the remains to be reburied.

The families were removed from Duncan Village to Mdantsane during the apartheid era in the 1960s.

Their parents and forefathers are buried in the area.

Speaking on behalf of the families, Mvuyo Mandlana said yesterday that the graves were damaged when the freeway from East London to Mdantsane was built.

Mandlana claimed that bulldozers dug the remains of the dead when the road was being built.

"These remains were taken to another place where they were reburied by the municipality without consulting the families.

"All we want now is to have the remains dug up again and reburied with dignity where they belong," said Mandlana.

He also said that shack dwellers in Duncan Village had built on top of the graves and some even planted vegetables in the graveyard.

Apart from the reburial issue, the families also want the graveyard to be fenced and turned into a garden of remembrance.

Mandlana said the families needed to be compensated because their rights had been violated.

"The graveyard must be upgraded and the families of the deceased must be hired during the process of upgrading," Mandlana said.

The families said they had approached the municipality and were told that a meeting would be organised between them and councillors in Duncan Village.

The spokesman for Buffalo City Municipality, Mamnkeli Ngam, said the council would investigate the matter.