The historic Jewish cemetery in Kimberley was the target of “Satanic vandalism” last week. A number of tombstones were pushed over, including several dating back to the early 1930s from the children’s section at the back of the cemetery. The latter were smashed, possibly because of their age.


In addition, various tombstones were spray-painted with Satanic signs and graffiti, including the number ‘666’. The word “aher” was spray-painted onto the foundation stone.  


Arnold Rauff, a leading member of the local community, reported the matter to the police and called out the monumental mason to attend to the repairs.


In his report to the community, Griqualand West Hebrew Congregation chairman Barney Horwitz described the vandalism as “the work of sick people” but since there were no swastikas or other signs normally associated with overtly antisemitic acts, he did not believe that it had been motivated by antisemitism. He urged the community not to panic and reported that all the damaged stones would be laid flat to prevent their being similarly vandalised in the future.