Mopedi Road Cemetery is one of the many neglected African Cemeteries that are dotted around Gauteng. It is not a large space, and there are roughly 50 headstones visible and numerous mounds with the remains of ornamentation. But I cannot even begin to think how many graves there are, or how far back they go.
The one nice thing about this cemetery is that it is well maintained and the older parts of it were really looking beautiful. But there has been a lot of vandalism of the statues, which is really a pity because Primrose has some beautiful artwork in it. It also has a lot of beautiful natural artwork in the form of what I call “tortured trees”. I have no idea how they get like this, but they are really breathtaking.
I will probably have to go back to this unattractive cemetery, but this time I will go to the area I did not walk yesterday. For some reason this cemetery lacks character, and the unhelpful staff just leave me angry. On at least 3 occasions this place has featured in the local newspapers for being badly maintained and overgrown. I should remind them about it next time I see them. Its all fine and well sprouting by-laws when you are not abiding by them yourself.
The next death that struck us very hard was that of Cpl Johan Potgieter, who was killed during Ops Daisy on 04 November 1981. The events leading up to his death tell of his bravery and his sacrifice. It was not too long before the operation that I stood guard with him, and I remember us brewing coffee in the guard post. We had 44 days left of our national service when he died, and he never saw the day when he too could walk out of Tempe and return to civvy life. I was fortunate enough that I found this grave myself and was able to stand and say my goodbyes in person. It was a very emotional moment.
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