Mortuary takes 5 hours to collect body
Lunga Biyela, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg - A mortuary van took more than five hours to collect a body at the scene of an accident in Howick on Sunday.
Waiting with the corpse, in the rain, was uMngeni Municipality councillor Sithembiso Nkuna from Ward 4, who was outraged.
“Is this what we call a ‘service’?” he asked angrily.
The van from the mortuary only arrived at 17:45 - as Nkuna was speaking to The Witness - to pick up the deceased. The accident had happened at 12:45.
“As a councillor, I want to bring this to the attention of the department of health,” he said.
The responsibility for mortuaries across the country was transferred from the police to the health department six years ago, he said.
“Does the department of health know what it is doing?” he asked.
Driver unlicensed, drunk
Nkuna said the accident happened when a car failed to stop at a red traffic light, and crashed into another.
“The police were on the scene by 13:00,” he said.
An ambulance had arrived shortly afterwards, and people who were injured were taken to hospital. The person that died had been in the car that had failed to stop, he said.
“It was later discovered that the driver of the vehicle that failed to stop had been unlicensed, and also under the influence of alcohol,” Nkuna added. The driver had since been taken into police custody.
However, Nkuna was outraged at what he described as a lack of a service.
KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that the driver had been arrested, and that he did not have a driver’s licence.
However, he could not confirm whether or not he was under the influence of alcohol.
“He is expected to appear in the Howick Magistrate’s Court [on Monday],” he said.
Multiple attempts to contact the department of health on Sunday proved unsuccessful.