MEC Dismisses Reports of Bodies Piling up in Phoenix Mortuary in Durban

MEC Dismisses Reports of Bodies Piling up in Phoenix Mortuary in Durban

  • It has been reported that mortuaries in Phoenix, KZN, are overwhelmed by the rapid flow of bodies being admitted
  • The bodies had allegedly been making their way in since the civil unrest started a little over a week ago, according to the National Funeral Practitioners Association
  • The Association stated that 300 bodies were not identified however the department of health has dismissed this

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The National Funeral Practitioners Association stated that undertakers in mortuaries in KwaZulu-Natal are overwhelmed. This is due to the rapid flow of bodies being admitted following the civil unrest in the province and Gauteng.

The riots and violence ended up in the deaths of 22 people in KZN alone. The Association stated that there is more than 300 unidentified and unclaimed bodies that are in storage in mortuaries in Phoenix, Durban.

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Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has since dismissed the claims, stating that there has been 128 bodies and not 500.

Funeral practitioners, #PhoenixMassacre, bodies piling up
There are over 300 unidentified bodies in mortuaries in Phoenix, Durban. Image: Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images

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During an interview with eNCA, Muzi Hlengwa of the Association stated that the mortuaries in Verulam and Phoenix have reached their capacities. Hlengwa explained that the maximum capacity of the storage facility in Phoenix is 500 bodies.

According to IOL, Simelane-Zulu stated that around 128 bodies were being processed and not 300 or 500. She added that not all of the bodies at the mortuary are linked to last week's civil unrest. Simelane-Zulu also stated that the mortuary does not just serve Phoenix but the wider eThekkwini area.

She stated that the mortal remains of 128 bodies are being processed.

The unrest in Phoenix results in families calling for justice

Previously, Briefly News reported that the families of those killed in the recent wave of violence in Phoenix, north of Durban, amid violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng are pleading for justice.

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Phoenix unrest: Families of victims plead for justice after killings

Briefing the media on Friday, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni confirmed that the death toll following the unrest of the past week stood at 212.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, who was the recent subject of a barrage of criticism after a video of him assaulting a suspected looter on live television surfaced, is reportedly leading a delegation on a visit to the grieving families.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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