KZN Health MEC lambastes DA over false mortuary claims

26 April 2022

As a Department, we always welcome any criticism that is based on facts rather than rumour-mongering masquerading as the truth.

When genuine issues that are grounded on facts are raised, only then are we able to confront the identified challenges and address them effectively.

Therefore, claims by the DA that bodies are "piling up on the floor" at the Phoenix Medico-Legal Mortuary due to overcrowding, could not be further from the truth.

This is nothing but an attempt by the DA to milk the human suffering and devastation caused by the floods by causing unnecessary alarm. Such an act is pitiful and exposes the party as a parasitic entity that will stop at nothing - including sacrificing the truth - to grab sensational media headlines.

The people of this Province are in mourning and going through enough trauma to now be subjected to baseless and fake news.

Had the DA done the honourable thing and tested the claims they are making instead of rushing to issue media statements and engage in grandstanding, they would have realised that what they are alleging is way off the mark.

The facts are: In all our government medico-legal mortuaries, including Phoenix Mortuary, we have a team of dedicated employees who have been working around the clock to ensure that the devastated people of KwaZulu-Natal get the mortal remains of their loved ones as soon as possible.

There is no backlog of autopsies in the morgue. Our team has been working around the clock, including after hours and on weekends in order to continue to reduce the caseload. For their gallant efforts to now be discredited by this DA in this fashion is completely unnecessary and most unfortunate.

There have not been any disruptions to normal operations at Phoenix Medico-Legal Mortuary due to water shortages.

Alternative arrangements have been made to ensure water supply, and there is no backlog for postmortems as non flood-related autopsies have been performed concurrently with the flood-related ones in order to minimize delays.

To date, 133 of the 134 flood related autopsies are complete at Phoenix Mortuary alone, and at least 17 autopsies were conducted today.

The doctors always allocate the autopsy cases to be conducted on a daily basis, in order to avoid backlogs and have fair and equitable case allocation.

The information at our disposal proves that the DA statement is a baseless fabrication.

We are challenging the DA to stop abusing people's emotions, and trying to milk a situation that involves death and human suffering to score political points.

It's what we call "ukudlula" in IsiZulu, where individuals are so desensitised and far-removed from reality, not even a period of mourning will stop them from engaging in acts of gross impropriety.

And, last but not least, any individual who has evidence of bribery must do the honourable thing and bring it forward forthwith, including the full names of the perpetrators involved, so that we can deal with it without further ado.

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This page last edited on 28 April, 2022

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