Grave news from Utrecht’s old cemetery

Overgrowth is a poor way to honour those interred at the Old Cemetery.

UTRECHT – Time and neglect have been unkind to the Old Cemetery in Utrecht.

Tyron Douman, a former Utrecht resident, visited the cemetery to bury a community member, and said he was embarrassed at the state of the burial grounds.

He explained the grass almost totally obscured the grave sites.

“I often visit as I have family based there, and many of my family members including my grandparents, are buried at this cemetery.”

Mr Douman said on his most recent visit, he could not get through the Old Cemetery gate due to the long grass and rampant weeds.

He recalled days gone by, when the cemetery was in a far better state.

“As a teenager, we would go and place flowers on graves.”

Mr Douman called on the municipality to address the disrespect being shown to the dead, and the public to take a stance against service delivery failures from authorities.

A visit to the cemetery by the Advertiser proved his concerns.

The gate to the Old Cemetery was almost completely held in place by overgrowth, and only a few headstones peek out of the tall grass.

This was reported to the eMadlangeni Municipality last week.

In an official response document, officials said the municipality was well aware of the situation, and that it would be attended to as soon as suitable cemetery-cleaning equipment was received.

It was also claimed employees were dispatched to the site weekly.

“We are currently facing a challenge in that we are waiting for the municipality equipment or tools to be delivered from the supplier. We will make sure that every Thursday our general workers attend to maintenance of the cemeteries,” the response concluded.

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Bruce Douglas

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