Body of medical student who died in the Philippines is coming home

Snegugu Myeni. Picture: Facebook

Snegugu Myeni. Picture: Facebook

Published Jul 19, 2023


Durban — The KwaZulu-Natal government has reported that it is finalising preparations for the repatriation of a medical student’s remains from the Philippines.

The provincial government said it has activated its comprehensive repatriation plan to ensure that the mortal remains of a medical student, Snegugu Myeni, from Utrecht who died in the Philippines are brought home to her family for a dignified burial.

Snegugu, a final-year medical student in the Philippines, died at the airport on July 10, before getting onto a plane back to South Africa.

Earlier this week, a video of Snegugu’s mother, Lindiwe Myeni, went viral, where she made a plea for help in bringing Snegugu’s body home.

The provincial government said that on Monday morning, director-general Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize, acting on the direction of Acting Premier Nomagugu Simelane, contacted the Myeni family in Utrecht informing them about the provincial government’s commitment to provide support.

The government said the repatriation process has begun, and the mortal remains of Snegugu are expected to arrive in South Africa on Saturday, July 22, at OR Tambo International Airport.

Simelane said as part of the preparation for the repatriation of Snegugu Myeni’s mortal remains from the Philippines, the inter-governmental relations team from the office of the premier met with the Myeni family on July 17. The aim was to explain the repatriation process and discuss details pertaining to the funeral arrangements.

She said the team is finalising all necessary and administrative processes as part of preparing Snegugu’s mortal remains for their final journey back home. This preparatory work is an intricate process that requires co-operation with authorities in the Philippines.

“We are working with the Department of International Relations and Co-Operation to consolidate efforts towards the repatriation of Snegugu’s mortal remains back to South Africa. We are also in communication with the Ambassador of South Africa to the Philippines in order to fast-track the process,” Simelane said.

This heartbreaking story has touched the hearts of many South Africans. From across society, companies and individuals have come forward to provide financial and other assistance to help the Myeni family. We wish to thank the people of South Africa who are supporting the government’s efforts to assist the Myeni family.”

“However, we also note with disdain those who are trying to manipulate the plight of a grieving mother for cheap political grandstanding. We condemn in the strongest possible terms attempts by these unscrupulous people to politicise ongoing efforts to repatriate Snegugu’s remains. Our focus right now is to ensure a well-coordinated government response to this tragedy so that Snegugu’s remains can be brought home to her loved ones in a dignified manner,” Simelane said.

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