WATCH: Bodies pile up at state mortuaries in Park Rynie and Port Shepstone as ‘no show’ workers claim to be ill

The KZN MEC for Health gets ready to perform a post-mortem examination at the Port Shepstone morgue on Thursday.

SERVICES at Park Rynie and Port Shepstone state mortuaries have been halted after all workers feigned illness.

On Monday this week, Park Rynie staff abandoned their posts, claiming to be ill.

As a result, eight bodies had to be moved to the Port Shepstone state mortuary, apparently following a directive from the Department of Health.

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Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo was forced to intervene after receiving complaints from families who said the staff actions could affect post-mortems and burial schedules.

Inside the Port Shepstone mortuary as the MEC prepares to do post-mortem examinations.

However, when the MEC arrived at the Port Shepstone mortuary, he was informed that staff there had also not pitched up for work, also claiming illness.

The MEC cleared  his schedule, rolled up his sleeves and conducted post-mortems himself, with the assistance of SAPS forensic services.

While addressing the media, Dr Dhlomo expressed his concerns at the conduct of these workers.

He said Port Shepstone workers had complained that every time there were issues at the Park Rynie morgue, bodies were being moved to Port Shepstone.

“This will not be tolerated; let this be the last time,” said the MEC.

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The MEC appealed to all staff members to make sure that their anger did not supersede the pain of families waiting to bury their loved ones.

“Losing a loved one is painful; imagine not knowing whether you will be able to bury them or not.”

KZN MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo comforts grieving mother Zanele Mhlongo at the Port Shepstone mortuary on Wednesday this week.

Zanele Mhlongo from Dududu, whose son’s body was also moved from Park Rynie, said she had to struggle for transport to get to Port Shepstone.

“I have no idea why this is happening to me. I just want to have closure and lay my son to rest,” said the distraught mother.

She added she hoped the department would help her with the costs involved in the transportation of the body as she was unemployed.

Although the department was not sure whether all bodies would be ready to be released for burial on Friday, the MEC said some bodies would be ready for collection.


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