The executive committee said it was “appalled” by the details in Dhlomo’s report, and called on the mortuary workers to “end their illegal strike or face the consequences”.
According to the provincial cabinet, the workers were on strike over salaries, protective gear and uniforms, among other things.
“The provincial department of health is attending to the matters raised by the employees. However, issues that relate to national competencies are being dealt with by the national department of health. The matter has however reached a stalemate on some of the issues and is currently before the courts,” the statement said.
But in the midst of this battle, bodies were piling up.
“Mortuary staff, including those at Fort Napier … have been on a ‘go-slow’ since early November, resulting in postmortems being delayed. This has resulted in a backlog with relatives of the deceased not being able to bury the departed as planned,” the statement said.
“Exco decided today that if the employees do not return to work immediately, disciplinary action must be taken against them.”