Another corpse at Addington

2011-11-08 00:00

DURBAN police are investigating the discovery of another decomposing body at Addington Hospital.

On Thursday the well-dressed body of a woman of Indian origin was found in a hospital basement, provincial police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said yesterday.

The woman was dressed in a green summer dress and a cream/khaki jacket.

She was the second dead person to be found in the hospital in just under two years. In August last year the badly decomposed body of an unidentified woman was found in an air-conditioning duct on the fifth floor.

Hospital security personnel, inspecting a bad smell on Thursday, found the decomposing body of the thirty-something woman. It is not clear how long the body has been there.

The body was reportedly covered by a piece of cardboard. The basement houses the hospital’s archives and pharmacy stock room.

Zwane said the body was not recognisable because of the advanced state of decomposition and it is not immediately clear whether the woman had any injuries.

“The cause of death will only be determined by the post-mortem and an inquest docket has been opened.”

The police were unable to take fingerprints because the the body was so badly decomposed.

Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo reacted with shock, and went to the hospital immediately to get first-hand information.

He said it has been established that the woman was not a hospital in-patient.

“The discovery of the body at such a place is cause for concern.

“We want light shed on a number of questions such as why was she in the hospital basement. We just can’t understand how she ended up there having been excluded as one of our in-patients.

“We hope relatives will come forward sooner so that she may have a decent and dignified burial,” said Dhlomo.

Zwane was unable to say what became of the case of the body found in August last year. Police opened an inquest docket.

The woman, who was not wearing an in-patient wristband, was believed to have fallen from the 15th floor.

Dhlomo announced at the time that his department would use its own staff for security operations in future so that hospital chiefs are held to account for breaches in security.

Department spokesperson Chris Maxon said the MEC’s directive was not meant to be implemented immediately.

“The plan can only be implemented once the contracts with the existing security companies lapse,” Maxon said yesterday.

• chris.ndaliso@witness.co.za

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