Concerned by the deteriorating state of Mooifontein Cemetery, the Tembisa Community Forum took action on November 19, organising a community-driven clean-up effort. The cemetery had fallen into disrepair due to rampant illegal dumping and burst water lines, making large sections unsightly and difficult to navigate.
Illegal dumping was attributed to residents from the nearby Vusimuzi community, leading to conflicts between Thembisa community members and Vusimuzi residents. Some claimed that Vusimuzi residents were removing parts of the fence to gain easy access to the cemetery and dispose of their rubbish. Warrant Officer Barbara Ferreira noted the adverse impact on the cemetery, with three exhumations conducted for reburials due to the unsanitary conditions.
A spokesperson for the Tembisa Community Forum, Xolani Mnisi, expressed frustration with the municipality’s lack of intervention, highlighting the need for a collaborative effort. A community imbizo is planned, bringing together stakeholders such as the municipality, faith-based entities, traditional leaders, and residents of both Thembisa and Vusimuzi. The goal is to find a solution to the issue of illegal dumping and restore dignity to the cemetery.
Miss Tembisa finalist 2023, Mapula Ramahuma, emphasised the importance of the clean-up in restoring dignity to the cemetery. She condemned illegal dumping, urging respect for the resting places of loved ones. The community is calling for a shift in behaviour, emphasising the need for mutual respect and practising Ubuntu to address the challenges faced by Mooifontein Cemetery.
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Photo: Supplied by Citizen