THE words “hlala kwabafileyo” mean “to live with the dead”.
They also form the name given by residents to the squatter camp near Sharpeville in the Vaal.
Residents call the place Hlala Kwabafileyo because they are surrounded by old graves.
This has made the CRL Rights Commission angry because it believes some of the houses may be built on top of graves.
Residents told Daily Sun they see the dead as their guardians.
Community leader Buti Qwabe said even if they had built their shacks on top of graves, the dead were understanding.
“We have a good relationship with them. They don’t trouble us and we don’t trouble them,” he said.
“Instead, they guard us.”
He said there is lot of crime in other squatter camps but their place is peaceful.
“The dead protect us,” he said.
Another resident, Makhosi Mkhwanazi (36), said even if there were strong winds and people’s shacks were to be blown away, they wouldn’t panic because their shacks are well protected.
“It’s all thanks to the dead.”
They hope not to be evicted.
But the commission said it had received shocking and disturbing complaints about the situation.
The commission said it urged the municipality to remove the residents of Hlala Kwabafileyo.
Commission chairwoman Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said: “Another disturbing thing is that there is a creche in the area and kids play among the graves as if they are toys.”
She urged the municipality to commit to specific timeline for a move, because she said the site was never demarcated for habitation.