KZN mortuaries in operation

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pretoria - Mortuary services at the Magwaza Mapahalala Street mortuary and other mortuaries in Durban and Pietermaritzburg are in operation despite attempts from some striking staff to disrupt services, says the provincial Health Department.

"The medico-legal mortuaries in the province of KwaZulu-Natal are operating optimally and post-mortems are being done in spite of the strike action currently underway," the department said in a statement.

According to the department, shortly after helping pathologists perform post-mortems certain staff joined the strike and it was discovered that generators at some mortuaries had been switched off, fridges had been disconnected, identification tags had been removed from bodies and tools as well as registers were missing.

An investigation into the incidences is to take place given that the work done at the mortuaries relates to assisting the criminal justice system.

"Investigations had to be instituted to ascertain if these acts did or not interfere with on-going investigations," the department added.

It assured the public that the situation at forensic pathology mortuaries had returned to "some level of normality".

"The department thanks the assistance of the South African Police Force who spared their members to assist in performing post mortems so that all backlogs in post mortems were dealt with," it added.