A report on the archaeological investigation, exhumation and relocation of graves on the farm Springboklaagte 416 JS, impacted on by the Mafube coal mining operations, in the Middelburg/Steve Tshwete District
Mpumalanga Province


During November 2010 Archaetnos cc was approached and appointed by Mafube Coal Mining (Pty) Ltd, to investigate the accidental discovery of a grave on Springboklaagte 416 JS during the digging of a trench for a fence near an existing farm cemetery bordering their mining operations. The cemetery will not be disturbed by the mining, but needed fencing-in. The grave was unmarked and on the edge of the cemetery. The identity of the individual was confirmed by an old farm worker, Mr. Swartbooi Mahlangu, who also gave consent for his exhumation and reinternment on the property. Four other graves, also located on Springboklaagte, were to be impacted by mining operations (mainly blasting) and belonged to the Van der Merwe/Steyn family, who farmed on this portion in the past. They wanted the graves to be relocated to Middelburg’s Aerorand Municipal Cemetery and gave consent. AVOB Middelburg was appointed together with Archaetnos cc.

This document constitutes a final report on the results of the fieldwork undertaken and is associated with Permit BG/11/01/003/87. Each individual burial is discussed in Appendix 2 (Burial Forms). A summarized discussion is also given.

We believe that the archaeological investigation, exhumation and relocation of the 5 graves from the area were conducted successfully and that the mining operations here can continue, taking into consideration a number of recommendations put forward at the end of the report.

Report by

A. J.Pelser