There still have not been any developments in the case of the baby’s body which went missing from the Pinetown mortuary.
The Daily News had on the plight of a distraught couple whose 7-month-old boy Sikhosana Mosemene had died suddenly on March 26 at a local informal day-care centre and whose body went missing from the mortuary.
The provincial Department of Health’s response yesterday has been disputed by frustrated father Seboda Mosemene.
Ncumisa Mafunda, department spokesperson, said the department was aware of the matter and was “extremely concerned”.
“Although the matter is also under investigation by the police, the department is carrying out its own continuous internal investigation,” Mafunda said.
“The department, through the acting director: forensic pathology services, has been in regular contact with the affected family, including as early as (Wednesday), and is considering several options aimed at minimising the family’s pain, related suffering and inconvenience.
“These will be communicated to the family at the appropriate time,” said Mafunda.
This “regular contact” was, however, disputed by Mosemene who has been alone in Durban since his wife was admitted to a Lesotho hospital after hearing the news that their baby’s body was missing.
The parents were informed of their child’s death by the police. Two days later, the baby’s body could not be found when the parents went to the mortuary to take it to Lesotho, their country of origin.
Yesterday, Mosemene said the first call he received since March was from a man who said he was calling from the department in Pietermaritzburg.
“The mortuary manager never called me again after promising to do so in March when they informed me about the body’s disappearance.
“My calls to seek an update on the search were never answered,” Mosemene said.
“I spent my own airtime to ask for any developments, but his phone was always off. It’s not true that they have been in regular contact with us.
“We are hurting as a family because we have been deprived of our right to lay our child to rest and to perform other cultural rites to find closure,” Mosemene said.
By last night, the department had not responded to a request for clarity on this disputed statement.
Professor Luka Masoma, deputy commissioner of the Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, said “The matter should be escalated to a point where the police make it a priority.
“Sadly, the family’s cultural rites have been violated. Those rites are performed in order for the bereaved to find closure, and that closure can only be achieved by the presence of the body,” Masoma said.
Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, the provincial police spokesperson, said the matter was being investigated.
“The police are following leads and are close to wrapping up the investigation,” said Mbhele.