Farm Kleinfontein: Illegal disturbance of burial ground

Land Parcel Type: 

Erf/Farm No.: 

371

HWC file No.: 

HM/SWELLENDAM/FARM KLEINFONTEIN

Registered Owner: 

Mr Henrico Cilliers

Grading: 

Nature of Application: 

Report on illegal activity on Farm Kleinfontein

Date of Site Visit: 

Monday, 25 January 2016

HWC Representatives: 

Guy Thomas, Dr Jacqui Friedling

Met on Site By: 

Mr Henrico Cilliers

Reasons for Site Inspection: 

HWC was informed via email and telephonic correspondence of possible illegal activity on Farm Kleinfontein regarding the destruction of the Cilliers Family Burial Ground. Due to the potential for impact to human remains, an urgent site inspection was organised. Please see attached email correspondence.

Findings of Site Inspection: 

- Mr Cilliers had used a mechanical digger to remove the head stones from the Cilliers Family Burial Ground - Material remains from the burial ground had been utilised to fill the existing dam on the property - From what we were able to ascertain on-site, the mechanical digger had only reached approximately 80cm. Dr Friedling indicated that burials from the 19th Century typically occur at a depth of approximately 150cm. It is therefore unlikely that the mechanical digger had disturbed the human remains. - The head stones of the burials were removed from the site. Two were mostly intact, while another two had been badly damaged. Mr Cilliers had conducted a thorough search of the rubble material at the dam site in order to try and find the missing pieces of the broken headstones. - It is likely that unmarked burials exist in the vicinity of the marked burials. Officials identified evidence of additional burials. - The marked burials are located in a prominent mound within a cultivated field. This mound likely marks the location of all of the burials. - Officials identified the boundary of the original burial ground through trace evidence of the boundary wall. - Mr Cilliers was informed that no further action may be taken on site without express permission from HWC

Which committee should this report be submitted to?: 

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