Speaking to Sowetan national coordinator of the association, Phephisile Maseko said that it was apparently against African tradition to take anything away from a grave site.
“In our tradition you don’t remove anything from a cemetery. Once you take something to the graveyard it means you have left it for the dead and that it’s theirs now,” he told the paper.
Despite the comments made by the THA, the Mafela family have said they had no problem with the stone being removed.
Joe’s niece Millicent Mulelu told TshisaLIVE that Bataung Memorial Tombstones, the company that made the tombstone, informed them they would be removing it.
“Usually in African tradition the tombstone is unveiled a year after the burial, but we as the family wanted it to be unveiled along with my uncle’s burial,” she said.
Millicent said that everyone would have an opinion of how they should do things but were doing things the way they felt was right.
“I refuse to comment on other people’s opinions because everyone will always have an opinion,” she added.
Millicent added that the stone would be back soon and hoped that the public would give them time to find themselves,and mourn.
Joe’s 6-ton tombstone, which is a replica of a living room with a plasma TV, TV stand and a couch caused a buzz since it was unveiled earlier this week.
Then on Thursday pictures of the veteran actor’s grave without the flashy stone went viral on social media, leading to speculation that grave thieves had gotten to it.
However, it was later confirmed that the stone was removed to allow the concrete to settle.
JOE MAFELA’S TOMBSTONE REMOVED!https://t.co/vx3efY43A4 pic.twitter.com/NYinCgk7yY
— Daily Sun (@dailysunsa) March 30, 2017