'No rest for the deaD'

Alfred Moselakgomo

What exactly do grave robbers do with the remains of dead people that they steal?

This is the question on the lips of many after yet another violation of graves at an Mpumalanga cemetery.

Human bones were stolen after vandals broke open coffins and removed some of their contents.

This is the second such incident after 10 graves were vandalised last month and bones were stolen from the coffins in the Kaapschehoop Cemetery near Ngodwana.

Three more graves were vandalised on Sunday night and the remains stolen after coffins were broken open, baffled police said yesterday.

Ngodwana police spokesperson Ngwako Kgofelo said they received a call from a resident yesterday informing them that something strange was happening at the local graves.

"When we arrived at the graveyard we found open graves with coffins lying outside after being dug up.

"Human bones were scattered around," said Kgofelo.

"We really need help from community members in this regard because this incident comes hardly a month after 10 graves were vandalised.

"We don't know what these grave robbers are doing with these bones," he said.

"But whatever it is, it has to stop now."

Kgofelo said no arrests had been made since the previous instance of vandalism and that police investigations were continuing.

"This is scary," Kgofelo said.

"It seems like the dead buried here will never rest in peace," he said.

Kgofelo said the case had been referred to national police headquarters for investigation because this was "not a usual case".