Family shocked by tombstone vandalism

The state of Benny Sithole's father's tombstone in Greenhills Cemetery.

On Good Friday, 14 April, 44-year-old Benny Sithole, and his family, went to pay tribute at his father’s grave in Greenhills Cemetery only to find a disturbing sight.

On their arrival, Benny, his 68-year-old mother, Paulina, and his 46-year-old sister Josinah found that his father’s grave had been vandalised by the removal of the whole of the base of his tombstone.

Also read: Chaos at Greenhills cemetery

The family, especially Paulina and Josinah, was distraught. They go to visit his grave at least once a month. Benny then drove around the graveyard, and saw at least four other tombstones that had been vandalised in the same way.

Benny Sithole, distraught after seeing the damage to his father’s grave.

Benny’s late father, Popele Peter “Rhee” Sithole passed away in 2010 at the age of 60. He was a Randfonteiner and even played soccer for the Young Zebra’s at that time.

Benny became emotional when talking about his father and said that he did not want the tombstone to look vandalised or unkempt. He also told the Herald that his great-grandparents had been buried in Greenhills Cemetery, but years later, he still can not locate their graves, as a garden service allegedly cleaned up the graveyard, and removed all the grave numbers.

Also read: Greenhills cemetery a mess again

Benny said that he had not reported the incidnet to the police, as he felt that nothing would come of it anyway. On the question of whose responsibility it is to maintain and protect the grave, he humbly said, ” I will fix it, I will lay cement, and make sure my father’s tombstone remains respectable.”

He said that he believes thieves steal the cement blocks of the tombstones, and resell them. ” People should go visit their loved one’s graves more often – if you only go once a year, you might just get the shock of your life …”.

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Maritza van Zyl

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