Former state pathologist found guilty of stealing organs to be sentenced

2019-07-18 19:50
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Former state specialist forensic pathologist Dr James Blair Mwesigwa was found guilty of stealing organs from a dead body on Thursday and will be sentenced in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Some of the charges the medic had faced included violating a body, defeating and obstructing the administration of justice, contravening regulations relating to the use of human biological material, contravening regulations regarding the control of human bodies, tissue, blood, blood products and gametes, and contravening regulations regarding the rendering of forensic pathology services, according to the Sowetan.

The Daily Sun reported Mwesigwa was suspended from the Diepkloof mortuary in November 2013 after he tried to walk out of the mortuary with a bucket that contained a brain and heart.

The Sowetan reported the organs he was accused of stealing came from the body of Alida Scheepers.

The publication added he had removed Scheepers' entire brain, tongue, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, trachea, both lungs, heart and pericardial sac as well as part of her diaphragm.

According to a statement issued by the DA's Jack Bloom in 2015, Mwesigwa was suspended on full pay and had up until that point received payments of R1.54m.

Mwesigwa resigned from his job in March 2015 after he had been on suspension for 17 months.

Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane was not immediately available for comment.

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