Fight over corpses

2019-10-17 06:01
Women protested outside the Tygerberg mortuary demanding bodies of two young children and their mother to be released. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

Women protested outside the Tygerberg mortuary demanding bodies of two young children and their mother to be released. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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After patiently waiting for nearly three weeks for the release of the bodies of their loved ones, members of the Mvinjelwa family and some community activists took their battle to Tygerberg Mortuary.

They picketed outside the mortuary on Monday 14 October to demand the release of the bodies of Phumla Mvinjelwa and her two children. The trio was allegedly gunned down by Phumla’s husband on Wednesday 25 September, in Bardale Village. He then turned the gun on himself.

The bodies were then taken to Tygerberg Mortuary and the family has since been waiting for their release in order to bury them

Phumla’s sister Nondumiso Mvinjelwa said when they arrived at the crime scene the bodies had already been taken away. “We could not even identify them because we are using a different surname to the person who signed for their bodies to be taken,” she said.

Nondumiso said all they want is to be able to bury her sister and her children but the family of Phumla’s husband is refusing to release the children. She said the mortuary said they can take Phumla’s body but not the children and if they want the children they must get a court order.

She said it has been three weeks since their death and the family wants to bury them so they can have closure.

Emergency Medical Services and Forensic Pathology Services spokesperson Deanna Bessick confirmed that a picket took place at the Tygerberg Forensic Pathology Services on Monday, demanding the release of the bodies of two minors.

She said by law they can’t release the bodies as there is no agreement between the two families.

Bessick added that they have met and informed the relevant representatives of their responsibility in assuring the bodies to be released.

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