Uniden­ti­fied bod­ies cram morgues

Pretoria News - - METRO - RUDZANI MATSHILI [email protected]

LACK of con­trol mea­sures in pub­lic hospi­tals was a ma­jor fac­tor con­tribut­ing to the thou­sands of bod­ies ly­ing uniden­ti­fied in mor­tu­ar­ies, stake­hold­ers have said.

A case in point is the death of a 23-year-old Pre­to­ria stu­dent who was un­ac­counted for for two weeks. He has since died.

His fam­ily trav­elled to the city from the Eastern Cape and found him ly­ing in Steve Biko Aca­demic Hospi­tal’s in­ten­sive care unit.

He had head in­juries and a bro­ken shoul­der blade. Mzu­vuk­ile Qaqoba had been hit by a car, po­lice said.

Sun­ny­side SAPS spokesper­son Cap­tain Daniel Mav­im­bela said they had taken a state­ment from the mo­torist who al­legedly hit the stu­dent and opened a case of cul­pa­ble homi­cide.

Qaqoba was ad­mit­ted as an uniden­ti­fied pa­tient on Novem­ber 3, after he was dis­cov­ered by paramedics on the side of a road in Ar­ca­dia with no form of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

At the time, the hospi­tal and po­lice were un­able to con­tact his next-of-kin to no­tify them of his where­abouts.

His fam­ily and the DA say the hospi­tal might have over­looked vi­tal clues that could have helped in iden­ti­fy­ing him.

Qaqoba, a fi­nan­cial mar­ket­ing stu­dent, had been re­ported miss­ing by his fam­ily in Oc­to­ber.

His mother pre­vi­ously told the Pre­to­ria News that the fam­ily learnt about his where­abouts after they started look­ing for him at var­i­ous hospi­tals.

Nox­olo Qaqoba had ex­pressed her con­cern about her son’s safety at the hospi­tal.

Her son could have been de­clared an uniden­ti­fied body if the fam­ily had not ar­rived on time to iden­tify him.

The DA’s Jack Bloom ex­pressed con­cern about the high num­ber of uniden­ti­fied and un­claimed bod­ies in state mor­tu­ar­ies across the prov­ince.

MZU­VUK­ILE Qaqoba, re­ported miss­ing by his fam­ily and later found in Steve Biko Aca­demic Hospi­tal, has since died.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.