Yizo Yizo star’s funeral postponed due to Gauteng mortuary backlog

2017-06-15 16:57
Jabu Christopher Kubheka. (Twitter)

Jabu Christopher Kubheka. (Twitter)

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Johannesburg - The funeral of SABC drama-star Jabu Christopher Kubheka was postponed on Wednesday due to a "massive" backlog in the Gauteng provincial forensic services, a family spokesperson said.

"It's very emotional; it's very disturbing. We are shifting [from] one arrangement to the other which is very inconvenient," Thami Madondo told News24.

"It feels like one disaster upon another disaster."

Kubheka, 48, is believed to have committed suicide in his Soshanguve house on Monday afternoon.

He is well known for his role as Gunman in the SABC1 drama Yizo Yizo.

READ: Yizo Yizo actor dies

Madondo said provincial authorities informed the family that Nehawu union members started to strike on Friday, causing the backlog in autopsies.

"Initially, the funeral was planned to take place on Saturday, but we had to push it to Sunday," he said.

"We hope the body will be by the family by then, but we are sitting on Thursday and we still don't know if the funeral will take place."

News24 earlier reported that Nehawu members are asking for a salary increase and danger pay.

They are refusing to conduct autopsies until their demands are met.

READ: Gauteng forensic services in crisis

Previously, Democratic Alliance Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom alleged that while the members were not trained to conduct autopsies, it had been common practice for more than 10 years that they complete autopsies.

"Due to the shortage of pathologists, it's common practice," Bloom said.

Nehawu spokesperson Khaya Xaba, however, said they were only employed to place bodies onto the beds for pathologists to conduct autopsies. He denied that they were on a strike, saying they were on a "go slow" instead.

He said the union members will not assist in conducting autopsies until a pay raise is given and learnerships offered for union members to become registered pathologists.

It is illegal to complete an autopsy without the necessary qualification.

It is unclear whether the unfolding crisis affects Muslim burials which require their dead to be buried within 24 hours.

The provincial health department did not respond to specific questions asking whether Muslim burials are affected.

The Muslim Judicial Council and Jamiatul Ulama SA (Council of Muslim Theologians) could also not be reached for comment.

In a statement on Wednesday, the provincial health department said the military had been deployed to assist forensic services until the crisis has been solved.

The department said negations will continue on Thursday morning to restore forensic services to normal capacity as soon as possible.

Read more on:    nehawu  |  jabu christopher kubheka  |  johannesburg  |  labour action

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