Theft at Muslim cemetery

Burglars hit the pipe flat with a brick to stop the water flow before stealing it. Picture: Supplied

Theft is plaguing Johnstone Road Muslim Cemetery
in Belgravia with thieves spiriting away wooden grave markers – along with copper pipes
and vibracrete slabs – making
it hard for families of the dead
to find their resting places, says
cemetery board member Abdullah Salie.

Recently residents of the squatter camp near the Klipfontein Road side of the cemetery had started stealing wooden grave makers to use for firewood, he said.

Vibracrete slabs and metal railings around the graves were also going. On Thursday November 14, vibracrete and pipes had been stolen.

A security guard had seen a group of men stealing from the cemetery at about 3am, Mr Salie said.

“He could not stop them as he was alone. The site is too big for one person to man. This copper pipe theft started with small pieces going missing last weekend. Everything happens at night.”

The big security gate at the cemetery entrance would have been stolen last year had it not been for the intervention of a security guard, he said.

“We want the public to respect this space, not vandalise it and litter when they are here. And please report anything because this is an on going thing,” he said.

According to Athlone police spokeswoman, Sergeant Zita Norman, no case has been opened at the station and the station wasn’t aware of frequent crime at the cemetery.