Respect the dead

Mbulelo Mpofu, Gugulethu

When I entered Gugulethu cemetery at 5.30pm on Thursday March 1 to visit my beloved mother’s grave, I witnessed children from Barcelona informal settlement and KTC playing.

They were chasing each other and throwing stones from the graves at each other.

As an African, a Christian, raised in the African cultural family unit, social scientist, community development officer, parent, mature black man and born and bred in Gugulethu, I believe that such a place should be honoured.

I chased them away. Some fled to Barcelona while others ran towards KTC. On the far side of NY5, inside the cemetery, I saw young boys smoking standing next to the wall and were not part of the group who were chasing each other, but they are not supposed to be there.

On the NY 108 side, next to the gate, mature women were braaiing and selling meat, and did not bother to shout at or reprimand the kids. They acted as though nothing was happening and did not assist with my actions.

Where are the parents of these children? How do they monitor their children’s whereabouts? I believe these children should have been doing their school work, home chores, playing sport, and so on.

During this time, I did not see any security guards.

My view is that all the gates must be closed and people who want to access the cemetery must enter at the main gate (NY5), where there are security guards and officers must act accordingly.

During the weekend, the main gate must only be used for funeral services for better access control.