3.3 Section 36

African communities have been moved around a lot over the years under the previous political regime. The presence of graves provides one irrevocable strand of evidence of their previous occupation in certain localities. While heritage sites generally carry high significance, graves are even more important. For believers, the spirits of departed individuals provide a link not only to their ancestors, but to the Almighty as well. It is expected, therefore, that communities would want to have regular access, at certain times of the year, to perform different kinds of ritual. Failure to look after family graves, the resting place of those who have departed from this world, is considered a bad omen. When ownership of the land in which such graves are found is not under the direct control of local communities, access to them for ritual purposes becomes a significant challenge. When access is granted, this does not happen within their terms and the conditions stipulated may actually make it impossible to achieve the objectives of visiting the graves in the first place.


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