Faizel Patel
2 minute read
22 Apr 2022
3:02 pm

WATCH: Criminals destroy, steal and vandalize facility at Avalon Cemetery

Faizel Patel

The place of burial has seen a few incidents over the past few years.

Avalon Cemetery Photo: Supplied.

Criminals have destroyed and vandalised the ablution and prayer facility at the Avalon cemetery near Lenasia and Soweto, south of Johannesburg.

The place of burial has seen a few incidents over the past few years.

Avalon houses a few facilities for different faiths including a crematorium.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Muslim ablution facility played and continues to play a critical role in washing the bodies of the deceased who died of the virus prior to the burial.

A video shared with The Citizen shows how criminals vandalised the facility, stealing taps, copper pipes and other fixtures and fittings which leaves to building unusable for ablutions and praying.

This is the fourth break-in at the facility.

Abu Bakr Sayed, spokesperson for local NGO Saaberie Chishty Society said it is unacceptable that criminals would target the Avalon Cemetery which is meant to service the community.

“We are really trying to protect this facility for people of all religious faiths whose loved ones are buried here. We hire security guards, we put in an alarm system, but unfortunately these guys still seem to find a new loophole to break in.”

Sayed has urged government to offer some sort of protection to the cemetery which is the last resting place for an individual.

“These criminal elements is just going to get even worse; we don’t know what is going to be left of that place.”

Johannesburg Executive Mayor Mpho Phalatse has also been urged to get involved in assisting curb the scourge of criminal activity at Avalon Cemetery.

Meanwhile, following the heavy rains across South Africa and more rain predicted over the weekend, residents from Lenasia and surrounds have been urged to visit the Avalon Cemetery to maintain some of the gravesites.

While the rain has been a welcome relief to replenish various dams across South Africa, the heavy downpours have also caused some damage to graves and soil erosion.

On a recent trip to the cemetery by the Citizen, there were many graves that had sunk in and had overgrown weeds and required urgent attention.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwean national handed life sentence for rape and murder of British businesswoman living in SA