Eastern Cape families demand compensation for alleged tampering of graves

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Twenty one families of Dukathole village at Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape are demanding compensation from the Walter Sisulu Municipality for allegedly tampering with the graves of their late family members.

They allege that the municipality buried unidentified Anglo Boer War soldiers on top of their relatives’ graves.

The remains of the 300 soldiers were exhumed from Kraai River where they were buried and were re-buried at the Dukathole graveyard.

Community spokesperson, Monwabisi Charlie, says they have nowhere to worship their ancestors and want the municipality to solve this.

“People don’t have a place for doing their rituals and praying in terms of their culture. The people are cross now, ever since the communities are crying and telling the commission that they need a form of compensation in this matter. People are not satisfied with the actions of the municipality.”

Walter Sisulu municipality mayor, Bulelwa Khweyiya, says the matter is receiving attention.

“I’m aware of the Dukathole cemetery, it came to my attention in 2018, but as a council, we have resolved that we are going to give you the site. We erect the graves then the department on its side they are going to erect a monument then you will write all the names of your people then it’s when we were told that we don’t want a monument, we don’t want a site, we want R500 000.”