MJC Muslim Cemetery
As early as 2004 the MJC Cemetery Mancom addressed the serious lack of burial space for Muslims at our private Muslim cemeteries.
These cemeteries are based in Vygieskraal in Johnstone Road, Athlone, the Mowbray Cemetery and the Constantia cemetery. As the Central Religious Authority representing the interests of the Muslim community, the MJC approached the City Council of Cape Town for burial space in Municipal Cemeteries.
It argued that the Muslim community, as permanent residents of Cape Town, had increased substantially over many years and had a right to be given burial space in Municipal cemeteries. .
INTENSIFICATION OF ITS EFFORTS TO OBTAIN MUSLIM BURIAL GROUND
Early in 2007 Sheikh Riad Fataar, was appointed as Project Manager and Chairperson of the MJC Cemetery Mancom ably assisted by the Secretary General Moulana Abdul Khaliq Allie, the Administrator Kamaal Kariem and others.
They met regularly with the Co-ordinator of Cemeteries of the City Council’s Department of Forestry Ms Susan Brice. She was extremely helpful in allocating burial space at different Municipal Cemeteries already existing in different areas in the peninsula.
The MJC Cemetery Mancom has been fortunate to obtain 3525 graves for Muslim burials in an extension and separate area in the existing Cemetery in Klip Road Grassy Park. The Muslim cemetery was officially opened on 15 December 2008. The cemetery is now in full use and very well administered by an Area Committee.
The MJC Cemetery Mancom was allocated 783 graves in the Khayelitsha Cemetery situated on the corner of Steve Biko & Swartklip Roads. Through the valiant efforts of the Mitchell’s Plain Islamic Society (MPIS) an Area Committee has been set up and the Muslim Cemetery was officially opened on 23 April 2011.
A separate section for Muslim burials has been set aside in the Modderdam Municipal Cemetery, situated in Belhar. Fortunately for the MJC Cemetery Mancom there is an existing, fully functional Ulama body known as the Ulama of the Northern Suburbs (UNS) who are administering burials in this cemetery. There are 200 graves available for Muslims.
In March 2012, on an initiative of Muslims in the Kleinvlei /Eerste River an area representing, inter alia the Arnold Muslim Burial Society, had taken charge of a section of the Welmoed Municipal Cemetery in Main Road, Welmoed for Muslim burials.
Through regular sittings with the City Council of Cape Town where we are normally fully represented we have been fortunate to obtain burial ground for Muslims in the following areas: Delft 254 graves, available from 01/12/2011; Atlantis 209 graves opened since August 2011 and 68 in the Muizenberg Cemetery.
ATTEMPTS TO RE-OPEN PREVIOUSLY CLOSED MUSLIM CEMETERIES
It is regrettable that previously closed cemeteries at the Tana Baru in Bo Kaap, Cape Town and Brommersvlei in Constantia have not been given permission by the COCT to be re-opened. The Tana Baru Cemetery in the Bo-Kaap was closed in 1886 by the City Council and the Brommersvlei Muslim Cemetery in Constantia, also known as Parish Road Cemetery, was closed in 1936. At the moment both cemeteries are still closed and negotiations for their re-opening are on-going and progress is slow.
Efforts have also been made to re-open the Muslim Cemetery in Brodie Road, Wynberg which the late Boeta Salie Dawjee had been trying to re-open for many years. We are also desperately trying to re-open the Stegman Road Cemetery in Claremont which was closed in 1901.
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN COCT AND MJC
In the last 12 months the MJC has stepped up its negotiations with the City Council for a more permanent agreement in the administration of Muslim allotments within municipal Cemeteries.
Alhamdulillah, the MJC can now report that an Operational Agreement i.e. an MOU between the City of Cape Town and the Muslim Judicial Council (SA) has been finalized and signed into effect on 04 August 2015. This is the culmination of many hours of deliberations with the City’s Ms Susan Brice and the attorneys of the City Council.
The rights granted to the MJC in the agreement applies to the following Muslim burial allotments: Atlantis, Delft, Khayelitsha, Kleinvlei, Klip Road Grassy Park, Maitland Cemetery Voortrekker Road, Modderdam Road, Muizenberg, Ocean View, Wallacedene, and Welmoed. The cemeteries will be jointly administered and manged by the MJC and the city.
The City does not charge the MJC any rental for the use of the cemeteries. The MJC expresses its thanks and appreciation to the City Council of Cape Town, more specifically to Ms Susan Brice, Convener of Cemeteries in the Forestry Department.
There is still much work needed especially in establishing Area Committees in the outlying cemeteries and the MJC will need help from its general Majlis in the new year.
For further information about cemetery matters, please contact Sh Riad Fataar, Second Deputy President and HOD for Cemeteries on (021) 6844600 for further information.
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For all enquiries and concerns related to MJC MUSLIM CEMETERIES MANCOM – please send us a mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Tel:+ 27 (21) 684 4600