Cape Town - It was standard practice to retain organs for further investigation to determine the cause of death, the Department of Health said, following revelations that Zanele Moyo’s heart had been removed during an autopsy.
Zanele, the daughter of Zimbabwe’s higher education minister, Jonathan Moyo, was found dead in her flat in Cape Town last month. She was a second-year student at UCT.
Following an autopsy, her body was sent to Zimbabwe for burial. The discovery that her heart was missing was made when her body underwent a second autopsy there. She was buried without her heart.
On Thursday, the Western Cape Health Department’s deputy director of communications, Mark van der Heever, said: “The pathologist followed standard procedure and has not been suspended or expelled.”
He said forensic pathologists practising within the Forensic Pathologist Services were mandated to conduct a medico-legal investigation into all deaths that were admitted to its facilities.
He added that Zanele Moyo’s case was subjected to a police investigation in terms of the Inquest Act.
Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko’s spokesman, Musa Zondi, said no information would be divulged to the media because of the sensitivity of the matter.
“We are not going to comment on this. We gave the family the correct route to follow and they chose to speak to the media.
“The family must talk to us, not the media,” said Zondi.
He would not deny or confirm that police were looking for two men in connection with Moyo’s death.
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