Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal health department has launched an inquiry after a man, thought to be dead, was found alive in the fridge of a state mortuary.
"The department can confirm that an internal inquiry is underway regarding this matter," department head Sifiso Mtshali said on Friday.
The DA in KwaZulu-Natal said the young man was the victim of a motorcycle accident in KwaMashu on Monday night.
"The shocking incident took place while the DA was conducting an oversight visit at the Mahatma Gandhi hospital, adjacent to the morgue, on Tuesday."
The party said Emergency Medical Rescue Services declared the man dead at the scene. He was taken to the Phoenix mortuary and put in a fridge.
"However, when the family arrived for identification purposes on Tuesday morning, a pulse and breathing efforts were found in the patient by mortuary staff, who then immediately transported him to Mahatma Gandhi Hospital for resuscitation."
Doctors and nurses managed to resuscitate and warm him. His relatives received counselling.
The party commended hospital staff for their efforts. Some stayed on after their shifts had ended to help the man.
"This horrific event has again highlighted the extreme shortcomings within the KZN health department's EMRS and mortuary services."