Sacred land of the Tana Baru cannot be sold

The Muslim Judicial Council (SA) strongly opposes the selling and re-development of part of the Tana Baru cemetery in Bo-Kaap.

The Tana Baru cemetery has a long, rich history dating back to the 18th century and consists of the graves of formidable pioneers of early Muslims of South Africa like Tuan Guru, Abubakr Effendi and others.

The first pioneer of the Cape, Imam Abdullah Kadi Abdus Salaam wrote the entire Quran from memory and built the first mosque at the Cape.

The news of the auction comes at a time when the youth of Bo-Kaap are rising to peacefully protect their heritage and culture from gentrification in the area. The community, that of Bo-kaap and the rest of Cape Town, have shown their unanimous support to declare the Bo-kaap a heritage site and stop all high-rise buildings in and around the area.

We too support all efforts to have the Tana Baru declared a National Heritage site.

Last year, the Muslim Judicial Council (SA) re-iterated the declaration of 1973 that all sections of the Tana Baru cemetery be considered sacred, cannot be sold, nor the bodies exhumed.

We, therefore, request that the family who provided Claremart with the mandate to sell, immediately cancel the auction and negotiate the transfer of the erven in question to the Tana Baru Trust.