Staff ‘shut down’ mortuary in protest against ‘appalling conditions’

“They say the matter is being dealt with on a national level. We have decided to shut down the mortuary. The department has to respond,” he said.

Workers’ demands include the repair of air conditioners, better equipment and back pay.

“The conditions inside are shocking,” said another worker. “I carry the work stress to my home. I’m always shouting at my children. Some of the corpses are in a bad condition. The mortuary is covered in an unbearable smell. Imagine facing that on a daily basis,” said the worker.

A family from Elandskop in Mafunze had come to collect the body of a loved one who died on Saturday. Sizeni Dlamini said she was told that she could not fetch her nephew’s body.

“I arrived at the mortuary at 7am. The workers told us no one is allowed to come in. They said bodies that are already inside won’t be released. It’s clear that we won’t be able to bury my nephew on Thursday,” said Dlamini.

Zithulele Mbambo from Kwamangwenyane had come for the body of his daughter Buhle.

“When I came here I was told that I can’t get her body. I have no words to describe how sad I am. I was planning on burying her on Saturday,” said Mbambo.

Funeral parlour hearses were also turned away.

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