Vandalism at U’hage cemetery ‘out of control’

Leonie Wagner

BARELY a year after the wall at the Jubilee Park Cemetery in Uitenhage was repaired, parts of it have been broken again.

Residents have also complained that lawlessness and vandalism at the burial ground have spiralled out of control.

Mike Stow, whose father is buried in his family’s double plot, said he had been complaining to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality about vandalism and lack of maintenance at the cemetery for more than a month.

“The cemetery remains a mess of desecrated graves, leaking reticulated sewerage water, filth and overgrown weeds.” Stow said locals used the cemetery as a thoroughfare, while criminals had turned it into a hangout for using drugs and preying on grieving families. Roaming cows were also a problem, he said.

Gregory Uithanger said the cemetery was not safe. “What’s happening here is … not right.

“People get robbed here. They [vagrants] smoke dagga and drink even if a funeral is on.”

A Herald team visited the cemetery and found broken beer bottles, damaged tombstones and animal droppings, while locals walked through the gap in the wall.

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