Unfolding investigations have led to the exposure of a national problem of overcrowding in South African mortuaries.
This was the outcome after local business owners, situated near the Middelburg State Mortuary, lost business due to the oppressive smell of decomposition permeating from the morgue.
The bodies of 18 cable thieves who perished in an explosion at the Gloria Mine are now resting in the state mortuary at room temperature, as post mortem procedures continue.
The already decomposed bodies, are withheld from refrigeration as pathologists try to preserve evidence.
It was later discovered that the Middelburg State Mortuary was suffering from overcrowding due to the influx of bodies as well as restricting laws that have been passed on in the previous year.
Forensic teams are struggling to stay afloat after the new laws prevent them from doing more than four autopsies a day, two days a week.
A 30% overtime limit was also imposed, where coroners who exceed the limit, then work overtime without financial compensation.
The general solution surrounding problems of overcrowding would be that bodies are then transferred to other mortuaries in the area for assistance.
However, the full extent of the problem was made evident when a request to transfer two bodies from the mortuary in eMalahleni was denied due to an overflow in all the mortuaries.
By: Middelburg Observer
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