Over 2 300 unidentified bodies lying in Gauteng government mortuaries

2018-12-05 10:10
Jack Bloom (Lucky Morajane, Gallo Images, file)

Jack Bloom (Lucky Morajane, Gallo Images, file)

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Over 2 300 bodies are lying in government mortuaries in Gauteng, waiting to be identified.

In a statement on Wednesday, DA spokesperson for health in Gauteng Jack Bloom said this was revealed by MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in the Gauteng legislature in response to his question.

According to Bloom Ramokgopa said that from April 2017 to October this year, there were 2 287 unidentified bodies and 79 unclaimed bodies.

READ: More unclaimed bodies in Gauteng mortuaries

"This is 8.5% of the total number of 27 737 bodies stored in the mortuaries over this period. According to Ramokgopa, the three major causes of unnatural deaths that require a post-mortem in state mortuaries are shootings, motor vehicle accidents and stab wounds.

"I am concerned by the high number of unidentified and unclaimed bodies. 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," said Bloom.

Bloom said he suspects that some of the 21 Life Esidimeni patients suffered a similar fate.

A total of 144 psychiatric patients died after they were transferred by the health department from Life Esidimeni facilities to unlicensed NGOs. Twenty-one patients are still missing.

READ: Gauteng ANC expresses concern over 21 missing Life Esidimeni patients

Bloom appealed to the department of health to set up a website with controlled access so that members of the public can try and identify loved ones who have gone missing and are likely dead.

"But most of all, effective action needs to be taken to decrease the high number of violent deaths in Gauteng. This requires a professional police force with adequate resources to combat the intolerable level of crime in our province," he said.

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