WATCH | BLF allocates graves to SA leaders, triggering Tshwane metro condemnation
The Black First Land First movement (BLF) has come under fire after it allocated unused graves dug at the Honingnestkrans cemetery, north of Tshwane, to government leaders.
The movement invited community members to a “prayer and cleansing” ceremony at the cemetery on Saturday.
In a statement, BLF president Andile Mngxitama said the #CloseTheGraves campaign was launched to demand that government stop digging mass graves and save lives instead. The movement demanded the immediate closing of the graves and the building of hospitals to help Covid-19 patients.
On Saturday, around 50 people entered the cemetery under false pretenses, the City of Tshwane said.
“The BLF did not close the graves, as they claimed in the invite, but instead planted crosses engraved with the names of government leaders at open graves,” said Tshwane head administrator Mpho Nawa.
The BLF planted white crosses at open graves marked with the names President Cyril Ramaphosa, EFF leader Julius Malema, transport minister Fikile Mbalula, police minister Bheki Cele, basic education minister Angie Motshekga and other government leaders.
“The caretaker couldn’t do anything about it as he was alone and outnumbered, but reported the incident to his supervisor. City officials later removed the crosses and destroyed them," the Tshwane metro said in its statement.
“A cemetery is considered to be a sacred place where we lay to rest our departed loved ones. For this group to write the names of government leaders on the crosses and plant them on open graves is diabolical, to say the least. This is the behaviour of intemperate people.
“The city digs the graves in the normal course of its work to ensure there are graves ready for interments,” Nawa said.
He denied allegations that the Honingnestkrans cemetery has been earmarked as a Covid-19 burial site for 24,000 people.
“The truth of the matter is that the city’s cemeteries across all seven regions have a capacity to accommodate 24,000 burials related to Covid-19.”
BREAKING NEWS: Pastors have warned the BLF to reverse what they did today quoting Proverbs 26vs27— Mfundoyakhe Shezi 🇿🇦 (@Mfundoyakhe_S) July 18, 2020
"Whoever digs a grave will fall into it" It is unclear what the BLF will do as they have already allocated graves for Malema and President Cyril Ramaphosa😳#CloseTheGraves Andile pic.twitter.com/R65vrG3gYA