A SHOCKING surprise awaited two grieving families at Thulamahashe cemetery in Mpumalanga on Saturday, 20 February.

And nothing could have prepared them for what they saw.

The families found human remains when they dug their loved ones’ graves.

One of the grave diggers, Sabelo Mathebula (30), said they were digging a grave for their cousin Vusi “Bob Marley” Mathebula.

He said the grave was allocated by the Bushbuckridge Municipality’s Thulamahashe regional office.

“We were greeted by bones as we dug deeper, but we thought they were roots.

“We then realised the flat portion of land is a grave. We are really traumatised by this situation. Digging up the dead is taboo and a crime,” said Sabelo.

Another family also made the same discovery.

Isaah Hlatshwayo (40) said they were digging a grave for his brother-in-law Silver Ndlovu when they noticed a skull and some bones.

“We reported the matter to the municipality. We need counselling,” said Isaah.

Silver’s son, Pastor Solomon, said what they found disturbed them.

“This is traumatic. Burying our dead loved ones on top of others is unacceptable. We want answers from the municipality. Our dead loved ones will not rest in peace after this violation of their graves,” he said.

Efforts to find the families of the violated graves were unsuccessful.

Bushbuckridge municipal spokesman Aubrey Mnisi said: “We were not aware of this shocking incident. So we have tasked our officials, including Thulamahashe regional manager Solly Mkhonto and Ward Councillor Freddy Mnisi, to investigate.”