Council had no choice but to forcefully remove dwellers

Marie Hann kneeling at what used to be her shelter.

Mogale City Local Municipality spokesperson, Nkosana Zali, said the municipality was left with no option but to enforce its bylaws when a group of cemetery dwellers were “forcefully removed” from their settlement in the Burgershoop Cemetery.

The News reported on Thursday (10 March) that a group of the dwellers slept outside in the rain the previous night after some have stayed there for more than three years.

Marie Hann (30), one of the dwellers, said she was literally thrown out of the cemetery. She showed the News her burnt blankets where she used to sleep between the grave stones.

“Firstly, we must say that the municipality is working very hard with the provincial Department of Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) to ensure accelerated housing delivery in the city. We are empathetic to the plight of those who need houses,” Zali said.

He added that in this case, the cemetery was invaded and not meant for human residence.

It is generally regarded as a sacred place where the remains of all our loved ones are buried. After representations with the people to vacate the cemetery, the municipality was left with no option but to enforce its by-laws,” he said.

Zali then said the municipality will continue to provide adequate housing for all deserving residents “regardless of the colour of their skin.”

Read more:

• [VIDEO] ‘We had to sleep in the rain’

• Body found between graves

• Begraafplaas is ook hul tuiste

Chantelle Fourie

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