Not even the dead can rest in peace. See what they are doing to graves

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Graves around Nelson Mandela Bay are being defaced by vandals and vagrants in what has shocked the community. 

Police spokesperson Sandra Janse van Rensburg said yesterday that they had been informed that a man was throwing stones at tombstones, damaging the headstones on graves.

“Police found a person in the graveyard. The man was taken to SAPS Bethelsdorp for questioning,” Janse van Rensburg said.

“On interviewing the person who initially reported the incident it was established that there was insufficient evidence to effect an arrest.”

The latest wave of vandalism at Bay cemeteries is a result of the council’s decision to insource security guards in 2017. Since then, the sites have gone unguarded.

Vagrants, vandals and thieves have also taken over the historic St Mary’s cemetery, with some tombstones cracked or in pieces.

Public health boss Sizwe Mvunelwa revealed that none of the cemeteries in the Bay were protected.

Mvunelwa said this had exposed municipal staff and the public to criminal activity, with a municipal employee attacked at the Despatch cemetery last year.

The staff member was shot at while driving into the cemetery.

Despite this, the city is yet to approve a plan to resolve the problem.

“Most of our cemeteries are fenced off but now we don’t have security like we used to in the past.

“This has exposed all our cemeteries to what is currently happening,” Mvunelwa said.

He said they had hoped to curtail the vandalism by employing private security.


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