The families are wondering who was behind the desecration of the tombstones.
Durban – THE Meyiwa and Nakasa families are wondering who was behind the desecration of the tombstones of former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa and journalist and writer Nat Nakasa at Chesterville Cemetery.
The two are buried diagonally from each other in the Heroes Acre section of the cemetery.
Meyiwa’s tombstone was unveiled more than six weeks ago, while Nakasa was reburied in Durban in 2014.
Images of the destroyed tombstones were posted on Twitter by Bafana Bafana after midday on Boxing Day.
Many believe that the tombstones, especially that of Meyiwa, were vandalised.
However, on social media, others have suggested what could be behind the desecration of the tombstones, other than vandalism.
Some have suggested the damage could have been caused by livestock or inclement weather or as a result of shoddy workmanship.
Thembinkosi Ngcobo , the eThekwini Municipality head of Parks, Recreation and Culture, said they learnt about the vandalism on Christmas morning.
“In this case, it is obvious that whoever did it was targeting those tombstones, because it’s Nat Nakasa and Senzo Meyiwa,” said Ngcobo.
“To us, it seems that when someone does this, it is to make a statement, and that statement could be related to them being unhappy about something about the person buried there or their family, or they owe them something, or there is conflict in the family.
“It’s not something they just do. In this case you can see it was targeted because no other tombstones were affected, besides those two.”
Ngcobo said in terms of the law and their by-laws, it was a criminal offence to damage tombstones.
“We want to appeal to whoever might know about this to let us know. We want to assure the community that even though our cemeteries do not have cameras, we do have security. It seems that in this case they entered through a hole in the back of the cemetery. The gravesite is next door to a residential area,” said Ngcobo.
“We want the public to know that all our cemeteries are secured but if they need cameras, we will consider doing that.”
Ngcobo said what surprised them was that cemeteries near townships did not have a problem with vandalism or desecration. What they saw at Chesterville was unusual. “Vandalism usually happens in cemeteries near nightclubs or along where young people return from having a good time. They do it openly and destroy tombstones, while others steal the granite.”
Senzo’s brother, Sifiso Meyiwa, said the vandalism has left them worried and confused, and they do not know what is happening.
Meyiwa said they planned to open a case yesterday.
“Police will solve this because they have to investigate to find out who did this,” said Meyiwa.
He said Ngcobo called him on Boxing Day and told him what had happened. Ngcobo went to check on the tombstone and reported back to Meyiwa that the culprits had not planned to steal the tombstone but to vandalise it.
Meyiwa said they also went to look at the damage.
“We saw that someone hit it. They have their own agenda that we don’t know about,” he said.
Nakasa’s brother, Pat Nakasa, said it was the first he had heard about the vandalism of his brother’s tombstone.
“It’s just very painful, and we don’t know why it was vandalised,” he said. “I’ll send some of the men to go have a look.”
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said they had checked with Cato Manor police, and no case of vandalism had been reported.