Unidentified bodies cram morgues
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.