Pretoria – The town of Tshwane has agreed to reopen the controversial Eersterust grave and get to the bottom of claims that a father was buried there with an unknown couple instead of his wife as he wished.
According to city spokeswoman Lindela Mashigo, the tomb will be opened on April 7.
Half the puzzle – the Moore family – said yesterday it had nothing to do with confusion.
At the same time, Sandra Cyster told Pretoria News that for the past three years they have been fighting for help to remove two bodies buried above their father, who died in July 1980.
The family said they were struggling to make their mother’s last wish to be buried with her husband come true, as the Moore couple were buried with their father without their knowledge.
Cyster said they discovered the grave in 2018, when they wanted to reopen the grave and bury their mother.
“They told us there was nothing we could do because two people were already on top of him, and they had even already placed a gravestone.
“They told us that there was no room for our mother and that we had to go to a cemetery in East Pretoria, but we refused because that is not what she (the mother) wanted to.
She said they ultimately chose to bury their mother a few feet away and ended up putting their younger brother with their mother when he recently died of complications from Covid-19.
Cyster said despite this, they were still not happy with the confusion and wanted action taken.
“We still want this grave because as a family we hoped to erect a grave marker there; we just waited for my mom to die first.
“Even now, we can’t stand or do anything because of this other family, so how do we remember our family?”
A representative for the Moore family said they were deeply saddened and hurt by the footage of Cyster and the news of their parents buried above his father.
Eugene Moore actually said it was the first time they had heard of such a problem.
Moore said that although the family is not based in Eersterust, they waited a year after her father died before laying a headstone and visited the grave every year with no indication that another person was buried there.
“The current perception in the community is that we were part of this conspiracy when we know nothing about it at all.
“Our family is really well known in the community and all we want is to know it’s not our fault.
“We also want to get a sense of who will be held responsible, who will pay for the exhumation, UKTN testing and other things; and most importantly, what is happening with our family members. “
City spokeswoman Lindela Mashigo said city records indicated that the father was indeed buried in 1980 at the stipulated grave number and that the Cyster family had asked to bury their mother alongside their father.
Mashigo said the request was granted in accordance with cemetery procedure.
He said the family refused to use the city’s registered burial system to identify the grave.
Instead, they insisted that the grave of the Moore couple buried in 1980 and 1987 was their father’s.
According to Mashigo, this was despite their records showing Moore’s grave was not D470 where their father was buried.
“The matter has gained attention and it is confirmed that grave D470 is the correct grave of the Moore family according to cemetery records.
“Only Mr. Denis Martin is buried in the grave.
“After lengthy discussions between city officials and the family, it was agreed that the family could bury their mother in another grave until the issue is resolved.
“It should be noted that there were other members of the Martin family who agreed with us that Grave D470 was the grave where their Mr. Denis Martin was buried.
Mashigo said the Moore family had accepted the grave identified according to cemetery records and to discuss the matter with the Cyster family to resolve the issue.
He said the city remained committed to helping the family bury their mother as per his last wish as long as a consensus could be reached.
News from Pretoria