Backlog at Cape morgues to blame
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.