Durban mortuary strike comes to an end

2016-10-19 17:26
Sibongiseni Dhlomo (The Witness)

Sibongiseni Dhlomo (The Witness)

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Durban – Doors at the Gale Street Medico-Legal Mortuary in Durban have reopened following a two-day strike, the KwaZulu-Natal health department said on Wednesday.

Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo was forced to intervene after receiving complaints from members of the public who said the strike could affect post–mortems and burial schedules.

Dhlomo met with staff on Wednesday morning after they downed tools, complaining about a manager who had been suspended and then resumed her duties on October 17.

Dhlomo cited an incident where he had to personally intervene when employees at the facility, under the manager's guidance, had refused to assist a family who had earlier identified and taken home the wrong corpse for burial.

Dhlomo learnt about the incident after the family had taken the corpse to the SABC in Durban, saying they did not know what to do with the remains.

"We really cannot keep a person without empathy in such a sensitive environment. Here we need people who will appreciate that even the departed have a right to dignity.

"We simply cannot keep a manager who fails to show leadership and cannot take decisive action to resolve challenges," said Dhlomo.

In Wednesday's meeting, staff members told Dhlomo that other grievances included issues of overtime and complaints about inadequate supply of protective clothing.

Dhlomo committed to resolving the matter urgently, as it affected the staff morale at the mortuary.

As Dhlomo was leaving the mortuary, he was met by the manager in question and he told her to leave and to return only when she had received an indication to return to work.

Read more on:    sibongiseni dhlomo  |  durban  |  health

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