More than 1 100 unidentified bodies in Gauteng mortuaries in 2018/19 financial year - DA's Jack Bloom

2019-09-29 21:31
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At least 1 117 out of 17 940 bodies in Gauteng's 10 forensic pathology mortuaries were unidentified in the 2018/2019 financial year, according to the DA's Jack Bloom.

Bloom said Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku revealed this in a written reply to his questions in the Gauteng legislature.

He added that an additional 18 bodies were identified, but not claimed, by families.

He described the figures as a "vast human tragedy that deserves higher attention".

Masuku replied that the largest number of unidentified bodies -360 - was at the Johannesburg mortuary.

There were also 115 unidentified bodies in Germiston, 107 in Roodepoort, 106 in Diepkloof and 105 in Springs.

"Most of the deaths are due to crime and road accidents. It is tragic that many families do not know the fate of their loved ones because they have been buried anonymously after suffering a violent death," Bloom said.

He said some of the nine Life Esidimeni patients who are still missing could be among the unidentified bodies.

Bloom said he had been asking questions about unidentified bodies for several years.

He said the department has been struggling since 2006 to develop an internet system that would assist people to identify bodies, which former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu promised to have up and running in 2016.

"Masuku's response is that: 'The functionality of the internet site will be possible once the mortuary information system is set, which is anticipated for the end of October 2019. The internet site 'is contemplated to be operational at the beginning of the 2020/21 financial year.'"

Read more on:    jack bloom  |  johannesburg  |  health
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