Grave delay in Karoo village
CAPE TOWN — In Wolwefontein — a languishing Karoo railway village — it would be best to give a month’s notice before one dies.
Failure to do so could mean you will not have a grave, because that is the length of time it takes to bore through the hard stone stratum barely half a metre into the ground.
This is exactly what happened to Zenzile Alwin Ngqeza (86). No grave was available and none could be dug quickly.
So, he was eventually laid to rest in the already-prepared grave of granny Gertie Petersen (101), right next to the grave of her dead husband Hendrik.
Granny Gertie believes the grave is still hers. “I’m going to lie with Hendrik,” she says softly and smiles.
“We decided rather not to tell her,” explains a neighbour, Marie Jansen.
A farming couple, Harry and Louise Watson, donated the land to the community about five years ago because Wolwefontein did not have its own graveyard. However, the grave drilling fell behind because Wolwefontein has since been included in the Ikwezi municipality, Jansen believes.
“But we have already spoken to Ikwezi. They are going to continue with it. Of course one can’t give a month’s notice of one’s own death.” — Sapa.