UPDATE | Truck transporting 106 corpses was overloaded, says Western Cape transport MEC

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Photo: André Damons
Photo: André Damons
  • A truck carrying more than 100 bodies was stopped on the N2 near Somerset West on Saturday afternoon.
  • Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell told News24 the truck was overloaded.
  • The provincial health department is waiting on final confirmation on whether the corpses were those of people who died of Covid-19. 

The Western Cape health department says it is awaiting final confirmation on whether the more than 100 corpses found in a truck that was stopped at a weighbridge in Somerset West on Saturday were those of people who died of Covid-19.

Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said the undertaker's truck was stopped by traffic officials.

"It was found that all the paperwork to transport the bodies to the Eastern Cape for cremation was in order. As a result, the undertaker was allowed to continue his journey."

Van der Heever added the department did not anticipate any risk to the public as the necessary permits were presented to traffic officials.

Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell told News24: "The officers stopped a truck at the Somerset weighbridge on the N2 in Somerset West on Saturday afternoon. When it was discovered that the truck was overloaded, the driver informed the officers he was transporting dead bodies to the Eastern Cape."

Mitchell said provincial traffic officials immediately closed the weighbridge and handed the site over to the department and police for further investigation.

Police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut confirmed police officers were on the scene to investigate the incident.

"We are probing the circumstances under which the corpses were being transported," Traut said.

ALSO READ | Western Cape MEC calls for more police resources after spate of murders

According to information, traffic officials stopped and searched the truck and found 106 bodies inside.

The truck was believed to be en route to the Eastern Cape at the time.

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