Freddy Letlale, a regional forensic pathologist in Bushbuckridge, said the body parts were being kept at the Mapulaneng hospital mortuary on the instruction of the police.
“We should have buried the parts many years ago, but we are following orders from the police. We are giving the police a chance to do their job.
“They have promised to let us know when they are satisfied and their investigation has been concluded, so we will take it from there,” said Letlale on Thursday.
The body parts were recovered in a box in Acornhoek in 2008.
Police believed the parts might have been those that were taken from a woman's corpse that was being kept at a mortuary in Mashishing (formerly Lydenburg) the same year.
The very same year, Ben Mongadi, 37, who worked at Doves Funeral Services in Mashishing, was arrested along with co-accused, self-proclaimed pastor Phillimon Baloyi, 50, who was charged with the possession of human body parts for muti.
Mongadi told the court that he had taken body parts from a Dutch tourist who had died in an accident outside Mashishing.
They were arrested when a sangoma to whom they intended selling the parts, alerted the police.
The woman and three other Dutch tourists had just arrived in South Africa for a holiday when they were involved in a head-on collision a few kilometres outside Mashishing.
Other bodies kept for years
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Gerald Sedibe told African Eye that Mongadi and Baloyi were currently free as their case had been provisionally withdrawn.
“The case was withdrawn because we are still waiting for the forensic test results. There are some parts that were recovered later, so we have sent their tissues to the laboratory in order to check if they are related to the hand and breast that were recovered earlier. So, the case will be re-opened after the results have been released,” said Sedibe
Mpumalanga health department spokesperson Mpho Gabashane said he was not aware of the situation.
Letlale also confirmed that seven bodies that were kept in the Mapulaneng hospital for three years were only buried last month.
He said the burials were also delayed by police investigations.