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Body apparently goes missing at Mthatha Pathology Laboratory

Mar 18, 2019
Body apparently goes missing at Mthatha Pathology Laboratory

Mthatha - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Monday said that a family from Engcobo are reeling in shock after apparently booking a deceased young male for a post-mortem at the Mthatha Pathology Laboratory. They were informed that the body has since gone missing.

"And now, several weeks later, the police are seemingly no closer to tracking down the body of the deceased," said Jane Cowley (MPL), DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Health.

"Is this the way that the government cares for its dead?"

She said that she has submitted parliamentary questions to the Eastern Cape MEC of Health, Helen Sauls August, to get to the root cause "of this atrocity".

"I have also asked her to provide the qualifications of the managers at the facility, and what plans are in place to ensure that the facility is fully equipped and functional at all times," Cowley said.

"Families in mourning are already deeply traumatized and emotionally vulnerable after losing a loved one. Imagine the hurt and added trauma when they find the body of their loved one lying on a floor in the cold room.

"Imagine not being able to find the body of your loved one at all, and not being able to give them the dignified burial service that every human being deserves."

'Mthatha Pathology Laboratory poorly-managed'

She said that the Mthatha Pathology Laboratory "is allegedly very poorly-managed, with senior and middle managers employed for their political affiliation and not suitably qualified to do the work required".

"Other staff members are demotivated and frustrated, as they are owed substantial amounts of overtime accruals, some from as far back as 2016/2017 financial year, but management has not addressed this issue," Cowley said.

"Furthermore, over the Christmas season when the service provider for maintaining the fridges and cold rooms was on leave, no backup plan was in place and when fridges broke down, more than 200 corpses were allegedly stacked on the floor of the cold room."

Cowley said that respect for the deceased is paramount, as is respect for the families of the deceased.

"The failing ANC government has stooped to a new low. For them, losing votes is to be expected, but losing corpses is simply a disgrace."

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