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									8                                                                          DIKGANG TSA MOGALE NEWS                                                                                      June 2007



Apartheid memories surface during furore over local cemetery

                                                                                                                                                                 ’
’
’
BY CLIFFORD MOGOTSI
                                         DEAD END!                                                                                                               monumental section in the
                                                                                                                                                                 Munsieville cemetery”, said
          ike most South Africans                                                                                                                                Bouwer.


L         who have acquiesced to
          come to terms with the
          past, the community of
Munsieville have been faring well in
coming to terms with the horror of
                                                                                                                                                                     Most baffling, he said the garden
                                                                                                                                                                 sections (only a head stone with
                                                                                                                                                                 grass on foot side), from both sides
                                                                                                                                                                 of the old divide, still seems to be
                                                                                                                                                                 predominantly white.
aparthied, save for one nagging                                                                                                                                      “We will investigate this matter
issue which they say “promotes                                                                                                                                   to see if it is because people do not
apartheid”.                                                                                                                                                      know of the choice, or whether
    A the centre of the controversy                                                                                                                              culture plays a role, and perhaps
                 ,
lies a cemetery a quiet place which                                                                                                                              promote the option more,” he said.
is a home to thousands of deceased                                                                                                                                   Though, residents gnash their
families, on the outskirts of                                                                                                                                    teeth on the matter, other factors
Munsieville, and Mogale City’s                                                                                                                                   that could have led to the divide,
flashy suburbs.                                                                                                                                                  would have been of price difference
    However, every week, this resting                                                                                                                            between graves because the cost of
place sees several funerals and all                                                                                                                              maintenance on monumental
these fleet of cars are greeted by a                                                                                                                             sections was reportedly higher.
sign that reads Munsieville/                                                                                                                                         However, the Mogale City Local
Sterkfontein Cemetery”.                                                                                                                                          Municipality had considered
    According to Munsievillers, the                                                                                                                              discriminatory factors and
signage bears two arrows, both                                                                                                                                   subsequently changed the tariffs to
pointing in opposite directions.                                                                                                                                 be uniform.
Most of complainants have revealed                                                                                                                                   And responding on the signage,
that the township moaners follow                                                                                                                                 Bouwer said he understands the
the Munsieville route and suburban                                                                                                                               confusion about the signage. “This
hearses follow the arrow after the                                                                                                                               is certainly not an indication of
Sterkfontein wording.                    CONFUSION: The offending signage pointing to different sections of the same burial ground.                              policy or what is happening on the
               ,
    Noticeably last year, hundreds of                                                                                                                            ground, but rather an indication of
mourners attended the funeral                                                                                                                                    the history of the cemetery   .
service of the late Patrick “Ace”        loved ones. An obvious sight of         the informal settlements inhabited     separated by a fence from the                “I have for this reason instructed
Ntsoelengoe, who was buried at this      segregation as both controversial       by mine labourers and had been         Sterkfontein cemetery    .               our maintenance team to remove
                   ,
colossal cemetery and the star’s         sides draw a line between whites        named after the chief sanitary            However, he confirmed that in         the arrows so that you will only read
resting space is positioned on the       and blacks.                             inspector at the time, James Munsie.   1994 the two cemeteries where            Munsieville/Sterkfontein cemetery       .
side where the signage pointed to            Speaking to this newspaper, an          A man who is only known as         combined and the fence was               In addition to this I will be
Munsieville. Even then Dikgang tsa       irate resident, who declined to         “Mzi”, approached Dikgang tsa          removed, as well as the old pine         proposing that the Geographic
Mogale received complaints about         disclose her name, said the signage     Mogale and lambasted the               trees, which created the divide.         Names Committee of the
the signage. Now the issue seems to      at the entrance of the cemetery         newspaper for not writing about the       “The two cemeteries are now           municipality brings the name of the
have gained momentum and many            promote apartheid. “Council should      matter. “Your newspaper is a           technically referred to as one           cemetery under review to resolve
residents wish to see change to the      come up with one name that would        window that should reflect our                   ,
                                                                                                                        cemetery but for the sake of clarity I   this issue. Should any person feel
knotty name.                             represent both blacks and whites        problems. That signage is very         will differentiate. Since integration,   their freedom of choice regarding
    When Dikgang tsa Mogale              and everyone should be afforded a       offensive and takes us back to the     people could choose where they           burial is infringed upon in anyway    ,
visited this gravesite, the              right to bury their loved ones          apartheid regime. We request           wanted to be buried and the              they are welcome to contact me at
Sterkfontein site was a picture of       anywhere at the cemetery”, said the     council to remove it and come up       municipality did not interfere with      011-660-8757,” said Bouwer.
elegant tombstones indicating            disgruntled resident.                   with a better name for the             this choice in any way  .”                   However, residents have called
affluence while the Munsieville side         The word Sterkfontein, loosely               ,”
                                                                                 cemetery an angry Mzi said.               “The old Sterkfontein                 for the removal of the loathsome
was home to graves that looked           means a strong fountain in                  According to the acting director   monumental section (the whole            signage and not only the arrows.
more like speed humps, a rather          Afrikaans, and is a set of limestone    of Integrated Environmental            grave is covered with stone) has         More comments on the issue can be
emblematic indication of those           caves of special interest to            Management, Rinus Bouwer, in the       been full for the past five years and    submitted at Dikgang tsa Mogale @
living on the breadline and cannot       paleo-anthropologists and while         apartheid years there used to be a     people of different races have since     cliffordm@mogalecity.gov.za or at
afford to erect tombstone for their      Munsieville, historically grew out of   Munsieville cemetery which was         been buried together in the same         town hall.




    COMMENT: When the Mogale City municipality goes through slip-ups, people are quick to                                                                        DA beats 4
       take in the gaffe, but when it does superbly, no one notices, writes Kelebogile Letlhabane
                                                                                                                                                                 other parties
 Give credit where & when it’s due                                                                                                                               for Ward 20
                                                                                                                                                                 BY SIPHO NONE
 At the recent IDP roadshows, some       do this perfectly yet our local         a backlog of systems and               expectations of the public. “The
 aggravated residents threw a slew       council is owned millions of            procedures that did not tally to new   municipality is well on course to        The Democratic Alliance (DA)
 of questions at council officials and   unpaid services. There are              legislation, unresolved HR issues      create jobs for the unemployed,          retained Ward 20 recently in a two-
 politicians and they’ve done so         imbalances and our brothers and         and operations that were               making sure that every human             sided horserace by-election after
 without even mulling over their         sisters working for the council         duplicated, causing confusion for      being has a suitable shelter to stay     defeating four other political
 bucket full of boo-boos of unpaid       suffer the upshots.                     the officials.                         and at the moment 583 houses are         parties.
 services.                                   According to head of operations         The Mayoral Committee took a       built at Sinqobile while 954 houses         The DA, led by Andrew Dott,
     However, most South Africans        in the speaker’s office, Tshepo         resolution to undertake a due          are built in Rietvallei 2 & 3. The       swiftly and summarily retained
 subscribe to the notion that “there     Mathodlane, the municipality has        diligence process, reviewing legal     municipality is providing a lot to its   ward 20 in a landslide victory after
 is no one perfect”, and this applies    to draft the Integrated Development     and financial aspects, HR, service     public as it feels that it is in their   elbowing out the ANC, Freedom
 to our own people thus the council      Plan (IDP) every year to determine      delivery and overall organisational    hands to build the community       ,”    Front Plus, ACDP and Azapo. The
 has introduced an indigent              the budget for service delivery  .      environment. There was a need to       said Gaeje.                              by-elections came into effect after
 programme to accommodate those          “This enables the municipality to       re-align the new mandate of                However, a Kagiso pensioner          the ward councillor Adam du Toit
 who can’t afford to pay for their       cater for its public interest,” he      developmental local government         Sarah Matome Malatji (78), had her       tendered his resignations.
 services. And, during IDP’s             said.                                   with the structure of council.         house struck by heavy rainfall              The incident-free by-elections,
 roadshows, no one granted credit            And raising the flag of the             The executive mayoral system       which led to the underground pipes       which were spoiled by the chilly
 where it is due. And according to                      ,
                                         municipality Mogale resident Joe        also put pressure on the re-           busting. The disaster damaged her        winter, saw less than 2 000
 our own people, council has to be       Khutsoane (51), applauded the           alignment of functions and             windows and she used her pension         electorates casting their votes for
 120% perfect on services.               municipality for bringing services      operations of the council. There       money to repair all the damages.         their respective parties in a
     Yes, the municipality is            closer to the people. “The              were fulltime councillors whose            And to assist the resident, the      predominantly white and DA
 mandated to satisfy all residents       municipality is fairly providing        responsibilities were outlined by      council offered to refund her                     .
                                                                                                                                                                 territory However, the parties gave
 equally and provide adequate            service delivery as the garbage is      law and therefore a need to outline    money back as it felt responsible        the DA a run for their money  .
 services to all. It has to make sure    always collected on time and it         convergence of executive power         for ensuring the pipes are in good          The DA represented by Jakkie
 that it brings about accurate           provides us with free 6kl of water      and administrative power.              condition. “The municipality             Naude came out tops with an
 infrastructure, community               and 50-watt of electricity on a             Though, the mayor’s                makes it their responsibility to         overwhelming 1 003 votes, followed
 services, decent housing and            monthly basis,” said Khutsoane.         spokesperson, Bongani Gaeje,           deliver free and fair services,” said    by the ANC with 263, and while
 secured environment. And yet,               Like all municipalities in South    indicated that the municipality is     a joyful Malatji, who still awaits       minority parties amassed a paltry
 according to our residents, it has to   Africa, the Mogale City council had     doing the best it can to meet the      financial assistance from council.       102 votes combined. The FF Plus
                                                                                                                                                                 managed to collect 97 votes.

								
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