‘Hospi­tals not do­ing enough’

The Star Early Edition - - METRO - RUDZANI MATSHILI

rudzani.at­[email protected] LACK of con­trol mea­sures in pub­lic hospi­tals was a ma­jor fac­tor con­tribut­ing to the thou­sands of bod­ies ly­ing uniden­ti­fied in mor­tu­ar­ies, stake­hold­ers said.

A case in point has been the death of a 23-year-old Pre­to­ria stu­dent, who dis­ap­peared for two weeks. He has since died.

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

He had head in­juries and a bro­ken shoul­der blade.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, Mzu­vuk­ile Qaqoba was hit by a car.

Sun­ny­side SAPS spokesper­son Cap­tain Daniel Mav­im­bela said they took 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 doc­u­ments.

His fam­ily and the DA now say the hospi­tal might have over­looked vi­tal clues which could have helped iden­tify him.

“The hospi­tals are not do­ing as much as they should be do­ing.

“They must look for clues to iden­tify a per­son.

“In this case I think they might have over­looked vi­tal clues,” DA provin­cial health spokesper­son Jack Bloom said.

Qaqoba, a fi­nal-year fi­nan­cial mar­ket­ing stu­dent at Rose­bank Col­lege, was re­ported miss­ing by his fam­ily in Oc­to­ber. His mother told The Star’s sis­ter pa­per, Pre­to­ria News, the fam­ily learnt about his where­abouts after they started look­ing for him at var­i­ous hospi­tals.

Bloom ex­pressed a con­cern about the high num­ber of uniden­ti­fied and un­claimed bod­ies in state mor­tu­ar­ies across the prov­ince.

“Gaut­eng state mor­tu­ar­ies have 2 366 un­claimed and uniden­ti­fied bod­ies since March last year,” he said.

He said MEC Dr Gwen Ramok­gopa ad­mit­ted this in re­sponse to his ques­tions in the leg­is­la­ture.

“I am con­cerned by the high num­ber of uniden­ti­fied and un­claimed bod­ies. It is tragic that many fam­i­lies do not know the fate of their loved ones be­cause they have been buried anony­mously.

“There should be an in­ter­net site with con­trolled ac­cess so that peo­ple can try to iden­tify those who have gone miss­ing and are likely dead,” he said.

Bloom said ac­cord­ing to Ramok­gopa, the three ma­jor causes of un­nat­u­ral deaths that re­quired a post-mortem in state mor­tu­ar­ies were shoot­ings, mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents and stab wounds.

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