MZIKAYISE Lingani (47) said the fire that destroyed graves in the kasi was the work of evil spirits.

“This is witchcraft at its worst,” Mzikayise told Daily Sun.

The incident happened at Khayelitsha Cemetery in Cape Town on New Year’s Eve.

The affected graves are in Burial Block E.

The wooden crosses were damaged and residents said it will be difficult for the families to identify their loved ones’ graves.

“At other graves there are no wooden crosses,” said Lingani.

Nomasonto Buwe (59) said: “No one knows what started the fire, so it must have been vutha. It’s good the SunTeam came so people could see the damage.”

Other residents claimed the fire might have been caused by municipal workers while they were cleaning between the graves.

Community services MMC Zahid Badroodien said the dry grass in the block caught alight and staff called the city’s Fire and Rescue Services.

“It is not true that city employees started the fire while cleaning,” said Badroodien.

“It’s unfortunate that some wooden crosses were damaged as a result of the fire.”

Badroodien said according to the city’s by-law, damage to memorial work was outside of the city’s responsibility.

“But the recreation and parks department will be able to assist affected families identify graves should they wish to replace crosses.”

Anyone who needs help to identify the graves should call Khayelitsha horticultural office on 021 444 9372.