Phoenix Mortuary: Bodies Pile Up on Floors Due to Lack of Equipment and Storage Space, Unions Intervene

Phoenix Mortuary: Bodies Pile Up on Floors Due to Lack of Equipment and Storage Space, Unions Intervene

  • The state of the Phoenix Forensic Mortuary in the north of Durban is cause for serious concern since bodies have been piling up since last year
  • The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) is “flabbergasted and disappointed” about the state of the mortuary
  • Lack of equipment, tools and storage capacity are believed to be the cause of the issues and the department of health is being called on to intervene

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DURBAN - Piling up bodies, flies and a horrible stench have been plaguing the Phoenix Forensic Mortuary, north of Durban. The problem has been ongoing since the July unrest last year and was exacerbated by the April floods.

The state of the Phoenix mortuary has left Mzansi deeply troubled. Image: Stock image
Source: Getty Images

A lack of equipment, tools and storage capacity are believed to be the cause of the worsening situation. The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) Provincial Secretary Ayanda Zulu spoke to TimesLIVE and said the matter had been escalated to senior mortuary officials and district management.

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He said the union is “flabbergasted and disappointed”. Zulu said bodies have been lying on the floor since there is no longer space in the fridges.

Last month, a meeting was held between Nehawu and the eThekwini district management to discuss the health and safety issues. Zulu called for health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu to intervene.

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Another union official spoke to Newzroom Afrika, and staff raised concerns about the bodies piling up. He said:

“We have raised these matters to the department and asked them to intervene and see what they can do. Health and safety issues have been raised. We have been engaging with the department, trying to resolve these matters.”

He said the union is waiting for the department to resolve the issues.

“We are saying if the department doesn’t come to the party, then we’ll be forced to take these matters forward to the relevant structures,” he added.

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South Africans react to the horrific state of the Phoenix mortuary:

@MfaziObelenye said:

“KZN must take those bodies and go pile them up at home of Cyril’s doorstep. He must make a plan and get those bodies to their families.”

@tazer25 posted:

“Document and cremate the bodies. Save the ashes should any family come forward in the future. Fix the problem. Stop talking about flags and orchestras.”

@willemlombaard commented:

“The ANC-led local government is doing a sterling job. Why don’t we vote them in again? We like living in squalor while looters loot mos.”

Mzansi left shocked after overloaded truck containing 106 dead bodies was found on the N2 highway

In a related matter, Briefly News also reported on its journey to the Eastern Cape, traffic officials intercepted an overloaded truck carrying 106 bodies. The truck was stopped on the N2 highway close to Somerset West on Saturday.

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Free State Department of Health saddened, Bloemfontein man dies after falling out a window at hospital

It is currently unknown what the causes of deaths were and the Western Cape Department of Health is waiting to find out if the deaths were Covid 19-related, according to EWN.

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Source: Briefly News

Bianca Lalbahadur avatar

Bianca Lalbahadur Bianca Lalbahadur is a current affairs journalist at Briefly News. With a knack for writing hard-hitting content, she is dedicated to being the eyes and ears of South Africans. As a young and vibrant journalist, Bianca is passionate about providing quality and factual stories that impact citizens. She graduated from the Independent Institute of Education in 2017 and has worked at several award-winning Caxton associated community newspapers.

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