Back­log at Cape morgues to blame

Sowetan - - News - By Far­ren Collins

The Mus­lim Ju­di­cial Coun­cil seeks to get pri­or­ity treat­ment for dead Mus­lims as bod­ies con­tinue to pile up in the wake of a back­log at mor­tu­ar­ies in Cape Town.

The MJC has writ­ten to Western Cape MEC for health No­mafrench Mbobo re­quest­ing a meet­ing to dis­cuss the is­sue after fam­i­lies con­tacted the or­gan­i­sa­tion ask­ing for help.

“We’ve had queries from two fam­i­lies who asked us to as­sist them with re­triev­ing bod­ies [of de­ceased fam­ily mem­bers]‚” MJC spokesper­son Mishka Daries said.

“With Is­lamic [be­lief] the body prefer­ably needs to be buried within 24 hours after the per­son has died. It’s taken quite a while and the fam­i­lies have been wait­ing for two or three days now. We have in­quired with the pro­vin­cial min­is­ter of health to en­gage in a meet­ing to ask how we can ex­pe­dite the process.”

On Wed­nes­day the pro­vin­cial health de­part­ment re­leased a state­ment warn­ing the public of de­lays in fi­nal­is­ing post­mortems‚ as its Foren­sic Pathol­ogy Ser­vices in the me­trop­o­lis were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing high case loads.

“Cases will now be al­lo­cated and au­top­sies per­formed in chrono­log­i­cal or­der. We do recog­nise that the time of be­reave­ment is a stress­ful and dif­fi­cult pe­riod and for this rea­son we are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to speed up but also stream­line the process.”

Daries be­lieved that the in­crease in the num­ber of cases was due to the spike in gang vi­o­lence in Cape Town.

There are nearly 3 mil­lion Mus­lims in South Africa‚ with the big­gest pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in Cape Town.

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