In an official note the Western Cape Health Department warned of possible delays in finalising postmortems as the metro's forensic pathology services (FPS) was experiencing a high case load.
Without giving details or reasons for the high case load, EMS spokesperson Robert Daniels said this resulted in the FPS being unable to prioritise cases. “Cases will now be allocated and autopsies performed in chronological order. We recognise that the time of bereavement is stressful and difficult. For this reason we are doing everything to speed up the process."
Pierre Uys, ANC chief whip and former health MEC, said the issue can lead to a crisis. “Someone called me from Upington querying the delays. Their baby had died in Mowbray. More than a week later, they have received no communication. It's totally unacceptable.”
Uys said: “I don’t know what has caused this. And it seems they don’t have the answers either."
In June, 123 bodies at Salt River and Tygerberg mortuaries awaited post-mortems after a strike. Those who have lost loved ones can call Tygerberg 0219319140 or Salt River 0214474915.