[LISTEN] How UCT located the burial sites of nine unethically obtained skeletons

The University of Cape Town has located the burial sites of nine individuals after an archiving audit of the instituations Human Skeletal Collection in 2017 revealed that the group's skeletons were unethically obtained when they were were brought to the university by a medical student from Kruisrivier Farm, Sutherland, in the early 20th century.

The university has worked with the community of Sutherland to return the remains to their descendants in a means to provide redress and restitution.

Joanne Joseph spoke to the university's archaeology department emeritus associate professor Simon Hall to get details on the process and the significance of the reburial.

I am familiar with the area so this wasn't difficult and it wasn't difficult to find the cemetery on the farm. The rationale behind the need to locate the cemetery was clearly built around the work of Doreen Februarie, who located the families in Sutherland.

Simon Hall, Emeritus associate professor - Department of Archaeology at UCT

The rationale was in a sense to reconnect them and the memory of this place, in terms of contributing to restorative justice around the restitution and providing them with closure.

Simon Hall, Emeritus associate professor - Department of Archaeology at UCT

I would like to think of it as a positive contribution for the process of restorative justice.

Simon Hall, Emeritus associate professor - Department of Archaeology at UCT

Click on the link below to hear the full interview...


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