Petition against backlog of bodies

2018-01-16 06:00

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) of South Africa requests the public to support a petition demanding that the Western Cape government expedites Muslim autopsies to within the pre-agreed 24-hour processing time.

The petition aims to get more than 100 000 signatures by the end of January and can be shared and signed online via www.­mortuarycrisis.co.za.

Due to an overwhelming response to the petition, the website crashed on Thursday evening. However, Shaykh Riaad Fataar, MJC’s second deputy president, says the mortuary petition portal is once again operatational with the server being rerouted to manage the influx of visitors to the site, which has attracted in excess of 100 000 visitors. “The MJC met with the Department of Health several times and has been in contact with necessary authorities at the mortuaries as well,” says Fataar.

The issue began in October last year with families waiting more than a week for the bodies of their loved ones. The department said the backlog was caused by an unusual heavy caseload and due to them being understaffed and under-resourced. “We need the department to understand the level of anger and frustration the community feels at the department’s lack of sympathy for our religious and cultural practices. We initiated and recommended several interventions, but it seems nothing is being done to expedite Muslim ­autopsies.”

V For more information, call the MJC offices on 021 684 4636.

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