Vandals destroy14 graves

VANDALS have destroyed 14 graves at the Norwegian cemetery near the historic town of Eshowe on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, the province's heritage body Amafa said yesterday.

Amafa chief executive Barry Marshall condemned the destruction of the graves of missionaries and other Norwegians who came to the province in 1850s.

Stone crosses and headstones have been dislodged and left lying alongside and on top of the graves.

"It is inexplicable why anyone would want to damage these graves," he said.

According to Marshall the Rev Ommund Oftebro and the Norwegian missionary-settlers established the KwaMondi Mission in 1860, but all that remains on the original site is the cemetery which is adjacent to the British fort besieged by the Zulus during the Anglo Zulu War of 1879.

"These places are an important part of the history of the town."

The area is frequented by tourists.

"We deplore such vandalism of the province's heritage," he added.