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Raw sewage floods city cemetery

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“We express our sincerest apologies for the incident and while accidents can happen, it should never had been left unattended for so long.”

FLOODED: Residents from Roodepan and surrounding areas have raised concerns about the Roodepan Cemetery (above, right) being flooded with sewage water. ABOVE, LEFT: The source of the sewage water. Picture: Danie van der Lith

A Kimberley man, who buried his grandfather on Saturday, was horrified when he walked past the Roodepan Cemetery and discovered that the grave, along with several others, had been flooded with raw sewage.

Thapelo Jantjies said yesterday that there were no problems on Saturday when the funeral of his grandfather, James Paulus, took place at the Roodepan Cemetery.

“When I walked past the cemetery on Monday, I was horrified to see that his grave, as well as several other graves, had been flooded with sewage water. I was very emotional as I had only buried my grandfather on Saturday and his grave was now flooded with this foul-smelling water.”

He said he spoke to the supervisor at the cemetery, who said that he had reported the matter to the municipality’s sewerage section.

“When I went past there again yesterday, still nothing had been done. The supervisor had an attitude when we asked him when it would be sorted out, stating that he was waiting for ‘those people’ to fix it and he indicated that he didn’t know what we expected him to do. His attitude was disrespectful.”

Sol Plaatje municipal spokesperson, Sello Matsie, confirmed yesterday that a burst sewage pipe had flooded several graves in the cemetery.

“The pipe was damaged when workers were digging a grave.”

He added that the supervisor had reported the matter immediately to the sanitation department.

“It is unfortunate that this was not attended to immediately as it is a serious matter. It has now been escalated to the responsible director who has indicated that the pipe will be repaired immediately and treated with the urgency it deserves. There is a sanitation service on standby after hours and it will be dealt with immediately,” he added.

“We express our sincerest apologies for the incident and while accidents can happen, it should never had been left unattended for so long.”

He said the water would be treated with chlorine to mitigate any health risks to nearby residents.