Theft of name plates at city cemetery a grave issue
BEREAVED families in Galeshewe have complained about the increasing number of thefts of steel name plates from the graves of their loved ones at Phutanang Cemetery.
It is believed that criminals are cutting out the steel plates to sell as scrap metal.
Local funeral undertakers are aware of the problem, but say that they cannot do anything about it.
One of the undertakers explained that their hands are tied, as their role ends after they attach the name plate at the grave.
“We cannot do anything about this regardless of the fact that it is a growing crime. It is the responsibility of the municipality and the families to look after the graves after we provide the burial service,” said the representative of a local funeral parlour.
Police spokesperson Captain Bashoabile Kale said that there is no specific recent case that was reported to the police with regards to the stealing of the steel plates.
He said the police were contacted after over 100 plates were found in a pile at West End Cemetery about three years ago.
“It seemed like the perpetrators were intercepted and fled the scene … but no one took ownership to open a case,” said Kale.
He added, however, that the police do conduct raids at scrapyards on a regular basis as there are criminals committing this crime to “earn a quick buck”.
The Sol Plaatje Municipality did not respond to a media request for comment.