Cape Town – The city of Cape Town has said it supports and welcomes the intention of the SA Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) to declare the first 10 Kramats – tombs known as the Circle of Islam – as a site of national heritage.
The Kramats are located in Macassar, Simon’s Town, Mowbray, Oudekraal, Signal Hill and Constantia.
“We welcome this impending declaration. Recognition of the cultural significance of the Circle of Tombs is long overdue.
“By declaring the Circle of Tombs a National Heritage Site, we recognize the unique heritage associated with the history of Islam in South Africa and the struggle for religious tolerance.” Cape Town is home to a diverse, unique and rich culture and each community contributes and adds to this wealth.
“Our diversity should be celebrated and honored. I look forward to Sahra’s statement,” said Marian Nieuwoudt, member of the Mayor’s Committee for Spatial Planning and the Environment.
The 10 sites considered for this declaration are:
- Sheikh Yusuf, Macassar.
- Tuan Dea Koasa and Tuan Ismail Dea Malela, Simon’s Town.
- Sheikh A bin Muhammad Allraqi, Mowbray.
- Sayed Moegsien bin Alawieal Aidarus, Mowbray.
- Sheikh Noorul Mubeen, Oudekraal.
- Sheikh Mohamed Hassen GhailbieShah, Signal Hill.
- Tuan Kaape-ti-bas, Signal Hill.
- Abdurahman Matebe Shah, Constantia.
- Sayed Mahmud, Constantia.
- Sheikh Abdul Mutalib, Constantia Forest.
Once declared a National Heritage Site, the Circle of Tombs will be protected under the National Heritage Resources Act – meaning that no one can destroy, damage, degrade, excavate, alter, remove from their original position , subdivide or change the planning state of any national heritage site without a permit from the Sahra.
The Circle of Islam, or Circle of Tombs, is formed by the shrines of Islamic saints, the graves of the Auliyah (Friends of Allah), and some of SA’s most influential spiritual leaders.
The Kramats represent the advent of Islam in southern Africa.