There is a strong suspicion that some parts of Sebina Village in the Tutume Sub District could be lying on top of a grave yard given the instances of discoveries of human bones by residents during construction of houses.
Four cases have been reported since last year, thereby reinforcing suspicions that the village could be atop some old grave yard with the discoveries raising haunting fears among the concerned residents. The discoveries have been made on yards along the Shashe River on the border with Matenge Village towards Makaleng.
On the 19th of July this year, human bones were discovered by one of the villagers who was digging a foundation for the construction of his house. He reported the matter to the police.
Sebina Village chief, Kgosi Kgakanyane Sebina, confirmed to the Sunday Standard in an interview that the discoveries are worrisome and quite disturbing to the tranquil village.
“Last year alone we had three incidents in which remains of two humans were discovered in two of the yards and one discovered along the banks of the Shashe River as some residents were digging for sand. The problem is that there are old graves in the village which are unmarked. It seems some of the villagers were unknowingly allocated residential plots on top of these graves,” he said.
Sebina added that most of Sebina Village residents used to bury their loved ones on the banks of the river and in their homesteads. He said that the custom was abolished around the year 1960 after residents complained about the custom.
“The early settlers of the village buried their loved ones by the river and in their homesteads. When people were allocated land, it was difficult to establish if the allocations had been made on graves or not,” said Sebina, adding that the bones that were discovered last year were re-buried after the police had concluded their investigations into the discoveries.
“There is nothing we can do about these discoveries apart from reporting them to the police. We only advise residents to report such discoveries to us as the village leadership or the police,” he said.
Tutume Police Station’s Vusimusi Jorowe also confirmed the disturbing discoveries explaining that the first cases were reported last year and the discoveries seem to be on an increase.
“We have since taken the bones to the Forensic Pathologist Department for testing. It appears these discoveries are due to the fact that some people in the village were allocated plots in areas where there used to be graveyards,” he said.
He also shared the chief’s sentiments that it is a problem as most of the graves are not marked leading to people getting plots on top of old unmarked graves. He urged residents to report such incidents to the Police or the village chief so that proper procedures are followed for re-burial.
“The procedure is that we take these bones to the forensic pathologist for testing and then we return them back to the village chief who then decides together with the District Commissioner for reburial,” said Jorowe.