The MJC says the Western Cape Department of Health is trying to put interim measures in place at its Salt River mortuary to speed up the backlog of autopsies. The Department’s Forensic Pathology Services (FPS) is currently experiencing a very high case load. Five Muslim families are waiting for bodies to be released from the Salt River mortuary.
Chairperson of the Muslim Cemetery Board, Shaykh Riad Fataar said: “Alhamdillulah, they [the department] have responded to the pressure of the MJC. They have put in extra equipment such as fridges at the Salt River mortuary. They are also contacting other pathologists to try to alleviate the load they are sitting with InshaAllah, we hope the bodies will be released in the next two days.”
Members of the MJC are expected to meet with department officials on Monday.
The Western Cape department of health has refuted social media posts doing the rounds claiming that the department is causing an unnecessary delay in funeral proceedings in Muslim communities. The department says this is not the case.
“We do recognize that the time of bereavement is a stressful and difficult period and for this reason, the Western Cape Government Health are doing everything in their power to assist and relieve the pressure and streamline the process,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
“We request that families please remain in regular contact with the Tygerberg and Salt River Forensic Pathology Services to find out the progress of their loved one.”
The public can call the following numbers:
Tygerberg FPS: 021 931 9140 | Salt River FPS: 021 447 4915