Clarity needed on unidentified bodies in Gauteng

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
07 Oct 2019 in Press Statements

I note the report today where Gauteng forensic pathology head Dr Mosou Morule denies that there are a huge number of unidentified bodies in Gauteng mortuaries.

He says that the figure of 1117 unidentified bodies for 2018/19 is a result of a mix-up in understanding department work terms.

According to Morule, the dead bodies brought into mortuaries after seven days are in most cases classified as unidentified. They are still classified in their books as unidentified even though many families identify and claim the bodies of their loved ones.

I am concerned that Dr Morule only comes forward now with this information which contradicts the unidentified bodies figure that was reported in an official reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

I have asked this question for many years in the Legislature and this explanation has never been given.

There has been a wide-ranging debate in the media about what can be done to identify the large number of bodies that are not claimed by families. Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku has also joined this debate without being contradicted by his officials.

We need clarity about the real numbers of unidentified bodies, which I suspect is still substantial.