Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Conditions of our Cemeteries

Makhotla Sefuli

Dick Velile Soga

Matjhabeng local municipality

Free State Province

26th May 2022




Graves are always considered to be very sacred in our communities as we feel that spiritual connection when we visit the graves of our loved ones who have since departed from this earth.

In some societies the old adages and traditional practices are still in place in guiding how and when people relate to the graves of their ancestors.


The unfortunate situation facing old Thuhloane cemetery in Thabong is an anti thesis of what these old adages stood for and represents.


This is the cemetery that boasts to have what we call the heroes acre because prominent members of society were buried buried in the acre that was reserved specifically for them.


Today a visit to the cemetery is like a visit to the municipal landfill because you’re greeted by the strong smell of rubbish dumped there by the local residents who in close proximity to the cemetery. This is a clear indication of a decay in the moral fibre of our society because the behavior and moral conduct of our people towards the graves have eroded from the old adages and traditions that used to be the moral compass and yardstick on how relate to our loved ones who have departed from earth.


The interior of the cemetery is in complete disarray, the grass is as tall as two metres high. A visit to the site a nightmare because there’s a likelihood that you may return without locating the grave of your loved one.


This situation is exarsebated by the lack of political will from those who occupy the seats of power.

The municipality takes about three to four weeks before they collect refuse from the community and people feel that they cannot stay refuse for the whole month. This situation prompted people to dump their refuse in the cemetery it is the only available space at their disposal.


The cemetery is also a safe haven for rogue elements and nefarious characters of our society because they’re able to hide in the tall grass while waiting to ambush and pounce on their unsuspecting victims.

This can be attributed to the fact that the cemetery is next to Bongani Regional Hospital and the Central University of Technology. Students who walk past the cemetery in the late hours when they come back from evening classes always fall victim to such elements, they are always robbed of their cellular phones and laptops.


Hospital employees are no exception especially those who work night shifts in these winter months. In some instances young women have been sexually assaulted by these thugs.

The discovery of murder victims who are dumped there is a regular occurrence because no one can spot anything under the cloud of darkness as a result of cable theft by those who are scuppering for scrap metal to sell and make a quick buck.

The concrete slabs that used to fence the graveyard has been removed and give access to scavengers to steal iron bars that people use to barricade the graves of their loved ones against the cattle that always graze nearby.


The municipality must do away with the privatisation of maintaining the cemeteries and municipal employees must show total commitment to do their jobs